The Google Maps Speed Trap Feature: What You Need to Know

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If there’s one thing all drivers can agree on, it’s that speed traps suck. They always come up when you least expect them, and what’s worse, they can be very inaccurate. You might be going at or under the speed limit, and the trap still thinks you’re speeding!

Considering this, many drivers find relief by using the Google Maps speed trap feature. Don’t know what that is, or how to use it? Keep reading for a full rundown.

What Is the Google Maps Speed Trap Feature?

Back in 2019, Google Maps introduced some brand new features to its popular Google Maps app. These features allowed users to report various happenings on the road. This includes incident reports, the sights of accidents, DUI checkpoints, and speed traps.

With this feature, users who know the location of speed traps can mark them on Google Maps, alerting other drivers. This gives the driver time to slow down or go around the speed trap at their own discretion.

Google initially tested this feature out in only select countries but rolled it out more broadly in May 2019. Now, speed camera reports are available in most countries. Countries, where you can use the speed trap feature, include, but are not limited to:

  • Canada
  • US
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Italy
  • Namibia
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Iceland
  • Greece

This feature was added after Google bought navigation company Waze for a reported $1.1-billion. The speed cam feature, as well as incident reports and the ability to see posted speed limits right from the app, were exclusive to Waze before this. Now, everyone with Google Maps can enjoy them.

How to Check for Speed Traps Using Google Maps

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You’ll be glad to know you don’t have to do anything special to find speed traps along your route.

As long as you have the latest version of Google Maps, the app will simply alert you if there’s a speed trap along your route. This also goes for traffic slowdowns and accident reports. As long as someone has reported the speed trap you’ll be able to see it, too.

It’s important to note that not all speed traps have been reported. Speed traps are consistently being added to roads, so don’t be surprised if you see one that’s not on Google Maps.

If you do see an unreported speed trap, you should report it to Google Maps yourself to benefits other drivers on the road.

How to Add a Speed Trap to Google Maps

Adding a speed trap location to Google Maps is quick and easy.

First thing’s first, don’t do this while you’re driving. Using your phone while driving is illegal and dangerous. Take a mental note of where the trap is and fill it out when you park, or pull over if you must.

Type the route you took into Google Maps and hit ‘Go’ to enter navigation mode. Once in navigation mode, find the area with the speed trap. You’ll see a ‘+’ icon to the right side of the screen, a few icons down.

Tap this and you’ll be greeted with a few options, including ‘slow down’ and ‘speed trap’. Select ‘speed trap’ and Google Maps will do the rest for you. The app will automatically add the speed trap report, giving you a short countdown by which you can cancel the report.

It’s that easy! You can now rest assured that you’ve helped other drivers on the road avoid a speed trap.

How Do the Police Feel About This?

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While it’s not illegal to show off speed traps on Google Maps, the police don’t like it too much.

Shortly after it launched, New York police officers urged Google to remove the feature. They painted the speed trap feature as a risk to drivers and the general public. They frowned particularly hard at the fact that people can use the speed trap feature to mark checkpoints of all kinds, including DUI checkpoints.

In the police’s eyes, this increases the chances of drunk drivers and car accidents. Anything that increases the chances of calling a car accident attorney is a big no-no to the cops.

Google Maps does not, however, specifically allow you to mark DUI checkpoints. The user would have to list the checkpoint as a speed trap. With no way to comment or make it clear if this is a checkpoint, this isn’t an accurate representation of how most people use the feature.

Besides, Google has balanced the speed trap feature out by adding speed limit display to the app as well. Let’s look into that.

Does Google Maps Show Speed Limit?

Google Maps shows speed limits now on any route you set up.

The best part about this is that it’s done automatically. You don’t have to report anything, it just happens. Speed limits appear in the bottom-left corner of your Google Maps app.

If the speed limit shown is incorrect, you can report it to Google and have them look into the issue.

Google Maps speed limit feature works hand-in-hand with the speed trap feature. If you see a speed trap coming up on your route, you’ll also be able to see the expected speed limit. If you happen to be going a little fast you can correct your speed, allowing you to pass safely through the speed trap.

In this way, you could argue that the speed trap and speed limit features actually make drivers safer. They encourage drivers to go the right speed and drive cautiously.

Never Get Speed Trapped Again

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Now that you know how to use the Google Maps speed trap feature, as well as the Google Maps speed limit feature, you can stay one step ahead of the police. While you should always do your best not to speed, accidents happen. Reduce those accidents by using the features available to you and adhering to the rules of the road.

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