NEW YORK – According to 9to5google.com, both Waze and Google Maps have features that report the location of police DWI checkpoints. The self-reporting features allow people using the apps to post the location of the checkpoints. The NYPD has now sent Google a letter indicating that the company must stop this practice and cease all reporting of DWI checkpoints.
Waze is used to help drivers determine the quickest route taking into consideration traffic conditions. Part of the process is helping people avoid obstacles ahead, which may include checkpoints. People who use the app in New York City often report the location of checkpoints designed to catch drunk drivers. The NYPD sees the feature as a way to aid drunk drivers and let them avoid being caught by law enforcement. The NYPD says that the company is actually aiding and encouraging reckless driving.
Waze did not intend the app to be used to help drunk and reckless drivers avoid being arrested, but when it comes to reporting DWI checkpoints, the apps have done just that.
Google declined the NYPD’s request and instead said that the intention of the navigation features is to give information to drivers that “allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they’re on the road.”
According to the NYPD, the people who post the location of checkpoints could be in violation of the law because their actions are “attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws.” Police believe that the posting of this information is irresponsible and that it puts the public at risk.
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