Around various areas of Washington D.C. there are about 290 red-light and speed cameras. This is about 10% of all traffic cameras that exist in the U.S. But now there are GPS and iPhone applications such as PhantomAlert that alerts a driver when they approach the speed traps and the police isn’t too happy about that.
“I think that’s the whole point of this program,” stated D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier in an interview with The Examiner. “It’s designed to circumvent law enforcement — law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives.” Lanier added that using the devices was a cowardly tactic to break the law for people that will get caught in one way or another.
PhantomAlert works similarly to a radar detector which is illegal to use in D.C. and Virginia. PhantomAlert CEO Joe Scott said that 9 out of 10 police departments across the U.S. support his software. “If police come against us, it’s going to make them look like they are only [after] revenue,” stated Scott. From 2005-2008, the city of D.C. made $1 billion in revenue from camera-related citations. This fiscal year, Montgomery County alone will make $29 million from red light and speed cameras.