GPS trackers and smartphone applications are ideal for finding where you’re going; but it turns out they can be equally useful proving where you’ve been, and how you got there. A California college student recently used a cell phone app to talk his way out of a speeding ticket.

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20100126_speed-cameras_614mzAccording to a report released by the House of Commons, Britain may soon start using a new strategy to prevent drivers from speeding. The state will still give out tickets, but this time there won’t be a need for police officers to actually pull you over, and you might not even know that you were caught speeding until you finally receive the ticket in the mail.

This new system will incorporate speed cameras – a new device, that resembles a stop light camera. The speed cameras will snap a picture of your license plate when you run the red light, except in this case it will snap the picture when you go above the speed limit.

The way that it will work is that there will be checkpoints with cameras that can capture accurate license plate numbers of cars going at high speeds (and under any weather or lighting condition), and the cameras will communicate with each other and use GPS information to determine the average speed of cars between any two checkpoint. When the average speed exceeds the speed limit, the cameras will save your license plate number and you will be fined with a speeding ticket that you receive in the mail.

(Via PHYSORG)

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radar-vs-gps While driving down the A4174 highway near Bristol, on November 28th 2008, Gareth Powell was clocked going 61 mph in a 50 mph zone by a police officer with a speed gun. The police officer wrote him out a ticket that Powell was positive he didn’t deserve.

He said: “I’m an extremely careful driver and I was certain I hadn’t broken the law.”

At the time, Gareth had a GPS navigation system in his car that was not only tracking him but could also tell how fast he was going. After contacting Navman Wireless (his GPS device’s manufacturer) and getting the records of how fast he was going at the time, he was able to provide proof that he really was within the speed limit. It turns out that Powell had been moving at 48 mph. In court he managed to have the director of Navman Wireless IT, Barry Neill, serve as an expert witness to back him up:
“The GPS fix on Gareth’s vehicle from the tracking system was excellent when he was clocked by the speed gun… The eight satellites locating his vehicle were advantageously positioned. Under good conditions, GPS tracking technology is accurate to within three meters.”
Thanks to the GPS navigation system in Powell’s car, he was not just able to beat a speeding ticket, but he also managed to prove that GPS devices can be more accurate then the speed guns used by the police officers.

(Via RoadTransport)

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speedingticket11In Los Angeles, California parents are attempting to use their son’s GPS navigation system to beat a speeding ticket. Los Angeles Police however, believe that the radars don’t lie.

Shaun Malone was given a speeding ticket after police radars found him going 72 mph in a 45 mph zone. The parents of the teen decided to fight the ticket using information retrieved from the GPS device installed in their son’s vehicle. The GPS showed Malone was traveling at a speed of 45mph during the time in which the cops stopped him. Sgt. Ken Savano of the Petaluma Police traffic division stated “We think he sped up to 62.5 m.p.h., then saw the police car and slowed down.”

The discussion as to whether or not the young man was speeding comes down to the reliability of radar vs GPS. The police are standing by their technology, stating that the information given by the GPS systems could have been altered by other cars and road signs. The parents are taking a similar stance and claiming that the radar could have tracked another vehicle’s speed rather than their sons. Malone’s father supports the GPS system because he has “seen too many times how teens are killing themselves all over this country [by] being irresponsible behind the wheel.” He is eager to prove his son is not one of those teens.

(Via The Christian Science Monitor)

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