Milwaukee has been experiencing an increase in construction zones across the city. Traffic jams have become an everyday nuisance for drivers trying to get around construction from every direction. A new app, downloaded 50 million on Google Play alone, may help drivers avoid hazards.
Waze is a community-based GPS app. It allows users to alert each other of traffic jams, accidents, and even police officers in an area in real time. The app works like a GPS in which a desired location is set. It will then point out any alerts on the course while driving.
Mark Stoddard, a software designer, has been using the app for two years and finds it very useful.
“I pretty much use it for long drives to spot police. It will also reroute me through high level traffic areas,” said Stoddard. “I try to tell everyone I know about this app.”
Though the app has its uses, but is it unsafe for driving?
“Anything that distracts you from concentrating on your driving promotes unsafe driving,” said Paul Leshok, Director of Public Safety at Mount Mary University. “The app itself, if used properly by a passenger in a vehicle, does not promote unsafe driving. But the reality is that drivers using cell phones while driving does contribute to unsafe driving.”
Stoddard disagrees with any safety concerns.
“The app will ask if you have a passenger with you so that they can use the app while you drive,” said Stoddard. “Otherwise, the app will speak to you as you drive, so you won’t have to touch it or look away from the road.”
Another concerned raised is the police aspect of the app. Knowing where police officers are located around Milwaukee, does the app promote illegal activity or not?
“I think that a lot of people would take advantage of that and use the app to avoid possible confrontations with the police,” said Kathy Kruse, a communications major at Mount Mary University. Though Kruse questioned the purpose of having a police alert on the app, she also thought of a positive use for it.
“You hear these stories of creepy people following others while driving…and now you can use this app to literally drive up to a cop for help,” said Kruse.
Waze is free on:
Knowing both the good and bad sides to the app, would you consider downloading Waze?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.