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New device detects nearby cops, officers not happy with product

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

A new car device called “Target Blu Eye,” developed and sold by the Dutch company Target Automotive, advertises the ability to warn drivers of nearby police officers, and cops are upset about this.

The device is marketed as a way to warn drivers of nearby emergency vehicles which have not turned on their emergency lights or sirens, signalling their proximity to the driver.

Blu Eye works by monitoring frequencies used by various emergency vehicles, including ambulances, firetrucks, and police cars, and then alerts the driver to the presence of such vehicles.  According to the Free Thought Project, the monitor also works when radars and other equipment used by police even when the equipment is turned off.  Even a turned off police radio on a foot-patrol is reportedly detected by the device.

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Naturally, Blu Eye has already been called a crook’s best friend by many people who are opposed to the system.

The Sunday Times spoke to the Association of Police Officers in the UK, who said, “It is an offence to impede or obstruct the work of the police, and this includes warning drivers about police activities to combat offences on the roads.”

Dan Bizley, chief engineer for Blu Eye, said, though it warns people of nearby emergency vehicles, it cannot distinguish between the type of emergency vehicle.  “As it does not distinguish between a police car, ambulance or fire engine responding to an emergency,” said Bizley, “this particular device is sadly just as likely to be bought by a minority of motorists who wish to evade being caught behaving illegally.”

Because Blu Eye does not distinguish or  interfere with the signals and frequencies used by emergency vehicles, there is no legal precedent to make the device illegal, at least in parts of Europe where the device is sold.

Jan Rijks, the Dutch inventor of Blu Eye, also said, yes the system can be used to potentially evade police, but if you are driving in an urban setting, the device would constantly be lighting up with warnings as emergency vehicles and personnel are everywhere in cities.  Rijks did say the device makes people “more aware of their speed and driving behaviour” since they are getting warnings, and this results in safer drivers. 

Currently, the device is only available in Europe for the hefty sum of about $1,600, but according to a FOX News report, Rijks said a US model is currently in the works and could be available in the next year.

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