Google’s traffic app Waze is under fire from law enforcement agencies across the United States as they look to disable an app capability that notifies users of police officers’ current locations, over fears that it undermines safety.
The popular traffic software program, which combines social networking and GPS functionality to offer up-to-date traffic conditions, also notifies drivers when there is a “visible” or “hidden” cop on the road ahead. Users report police presence through a police icon that tells drivers of an upcoming speed trap or sobriety stop – whether it’s hidden or visible.
While drivers like to avoid being stopped for speeding, police are nervous that the feature is an invitation to track and shoot officers, and they are petitioning to turn it off. Southern California Reserve Deputy Sheriff Sergio Kopelev and Bedford County, Virginia Sheriff Mike Brown told the Associated Press that “it is only a matter of time before the ‘police stalker’ is used to target law enforcement.”