News 12 April 2022

New Speed Camera App Faces Backlash For Encouraging ‘Snitch Culture’ Among Drivers

12 April 2022

A new app designed to ‘snitch’ on speeding drivers in the UK has received a wave of abuse online.

Speedcam Anywhere launched last month and allows residents, cyclists and drivers to report speeding road-users using their smartphone.

Since Speedcam Anywhere’s algorithm has not been approved by the Home Office, it is not legally a speed camera and drivers cannot receive fines for reports on the app. It also cannot provide sufficient evident for a police force to issue a prosecution for speeding.

The app’s developers hope it will lead to safer roads and alert police of speeding hotspots in the country. However, since it’s launch last month it hasn’t gone down too well.

“We’re getting quite abusive emails,” Sam, the app’s founder, told The Guardian . “It’s a Marmite product – some people think it’s a good idea, some people think that it turns us into a surveillance state.

“I can see both sides of that, but I think that if you’re going to have speed limits, then it’s the law that you obey them, and you should enforce the law. It’s not a personal vendetta against anyone, it’s just – how do we make our roads safe? There are 20,000 serious injuries on the roads every year – how can we reduce them? And the way we reduce them is we make a deterrent to speeding.”

One online review for the app said: “In East Germany, citizens were encouraged to report their neighbours to the Stasi for even the smallest societal infraction.

“‘Congratulations’ on creating a modern day version of that. If you couldn’t tell, I’m being sarcastic. This app disgusts me.”

Another wrote: “This #speedanywhere app is wrong. We should NOT be making it easy for government to turn citizens into a snitch culture.”

Speedcam Anywhere is currently limited to the UK, but the team behind it are currently looking into launching the app in the United States.

[Image: RMC42 via Shutterstock]