Tag Archives: drivers

Police want app ‘Waze’ to be disabled

A smartphone app called Waze, which allows drivers to mark where they spot police cars along roadsides, is under fire by police officers who want the app disabled.

Waze, which was bought by Google in 2013 for $966 million, is a free, social media type app which allows drivers to interact in real-time with other drivers on the road. The app currently has 50 million users in over 200 countries.

Traffic conditions are constantly updated within the app and any route detours or bad road conditions are also made visible for other drivers to see. The app also allows users to mark where they spot police cars on the road, but whether the police cars are part of a speed trap or a DUI checkpoint is not viewable.

Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia has a problem with the app though. According to the Inquisitr, Brown said, “The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action.”

A reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California is also calling the app a “stalking app” according to Gulf News. Sergio Kopelev believes allowing people to mark where police officers are puts officers in danger because anyone with a grudge against police can then easily locate officers.

Jim Pasco, an executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, agrees with Kopelev saying, “I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue. There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”

While police officers are asking for the app to be disabled, others are defending the app.

Nuala O’Connor, the head of the Washington Civil Rights group the Center for Democracy and Technology, has said according to NBC Washington, “I do not think it is legitimate to ask a person-to-person communication to cease simply because it reports on publicly visible law enforcement.”

O’Connor did raise concerns about how much privacy Waze users can expect since their movements are being tracked when the app is turned on.

As of now, Google reportedly has no plans to disable the app or restrict it in anyway.

Arizona immigrants are now applying for driver’s licenses

Many young immigrants in Arizona are enjoying their new level of protection from deportation under President Obama by putting in requests for driver’s licenses and identification cards on Monday.

According to the AP, young immigrants waited patiently outside of various Motor Vehicle Division offices throughout the state, and when the doors opened, a cheer from the crowd went up.   Reporters interviewed some young people who said they were excited to get their licenses and drive legally without the fear of getting pulled over.

Over the next few weeks, state officials have said they are expecting many more young immigrants to apply for licenses and ID cards.

This is a shift from Gov. Jan Brewer’s policy which initially denied licenses to an estimated 20,000 immigrants.  On Dec. 18 though, according to FOX News, U.S. District Judge David Campbell barred the state from enforcing Brewer’s policy.

Attorneys for Brewer have said the move to deny licenses to immigrants was based on liability concerns, as well as making sure immigrant license holders do not improperly access public benefit programs.

Brewer has since asked the Supreme Court to review the decision.

The transportation officials have said they will begin work immediately on processing the applications for licenses and IDs for eligible immigrants.  Those who are eligible for licenses and IDs are immigrants younger than 30 who came to the U.S. before they were 16, who have lived in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years, who are enrolled in or graduated from high school or an equivalent program, or those immigrants who have, or are, serving in the military.