Last updated: 11:17 AM ET, Mon June 01 2015

The High Tech Buzz To Help Avoid The Fuzz

Travel Technology | Tom Bastek | May 29, 2015

The High Tech Buzz To Help Avoid The Fuzz

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.  All others courtesy of their respective apps.

If you were among the 32.7 million people who traveled at least 50 miles this past Memorial Day Weekend, or if you have an upcoming road trip this summer, you have or will encounter a growing number of police vehicles on the highways and byways. 

With all of the amazing technology that we have access to in our smart phones, needing the old school radar detector is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Here are a few apps that can help you get to where you are going quickly and with a reduced chance of getting derailed by the cops.

Escort Live

Main Function:  Speed-trap and red-light-camera alerts

 Escort is an app that preloads known radar and red-light-camera locations so you will know before you get there.  Crowdsourcing handles all of the real time speed trap info. Basic navigation is included, but a premium-access plan brings real-time alerts, speed-limit info, and integration with Escort radar-detector units. The app is available for iOS 6.1 or later or Android 2.2 and up.

Cobra iRadar

Main Function:  Speed-trap and red-light-camera alerts

As with Escort Live, Cobra’s iRadar crowdsources the cops before they get you. It also links up with Cobra detectors so you can get alerts while simultaneously handling navigation functions. There are a few bonuses here within the app, including a car finder so you can remember where you parked and a music function where you pause, fast forward or rewind your music without having to leave the app.

Garmin StreetPilot Onboard

Main Function:  Navigation

Garmin’s app is a navigation tool first and foremost and coming from the authority in GPS guidance systems, you can bet that it is good at it.  Lane knowledge before you get there, speed limits on roads, and millions of preloaded points of interest are just the start of all the features. And if having detailed directions alone isn’t enough to keep you from crossing five lanes and getting a ticket, they also have integrated Speedwatch red-light and speed cameras, plus user-generated alerts.


Main Function:  Traffic Navigation

Probably the most well-known app for traffic avoidance on the market, Waze was bought out by Google in 2013.  The system relies strictly on crowdsourcing for its data, and is therefore only as good as the information that feeds into it. In 2014, a group of students faked a traffic jam in Israel and I personally know of a neighborhood in the Atlanta area where users were able to game the system. Noting an uptick in traffic being rerouted by the app through their streets, they began reporting heavy traffic every day until the app flagged it as a trouble spot and started rerouting people away from them.

So the next time you have a long way to go and a short time to get there, you won’t have to pull a Smokey and the bandit. You can just turn on your app and listen to that lady voice tell you exactly where to go. Dontcha just love her?


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships