New York law enforcement officials are demanding that Google pulls a feature from the popular traffic and navigation app Waze that marks locations of police officers on roads or drunk-driving checkpoints.
In a letter to Google, the NYPD said that the app is impeding the department’s ability to keep the streets safe, especially from drunk drivers or people driving under the influence. They wrote, “The posting of such information for public consumption is irresponsible since it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving. Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk.”
The app does not let users specifically pinpoint DWI checkpoints, but users are able to use the app’s police reporting feature to leave comments about what the police activity is on the map.
Not only is it aiding people who are driving recklessly to do so without being caught, but it is also illegal. Those who are sharing these locations may be breaking the law by trying to “prevent and/or impair the administration” of New York’s DWI laws. Though it’s not clear what legal steps the department is taking at this time.
In response, Google siad, “informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they’re on the road.”
This isn’t the NYPD’s first tango with Google. In 2014, after two NYPD officers were shot, law enforcement officials called for the feature to be removed over concerns for the officers’ safety.