WASHINGTON - Speed cameras are just a part of daily life in the D.C. region and we all wish we could avoid them. Well, now you can and there’s an app for that.
It seems speed cameras are on every street around D.C., but many times, drivers don't know they passed one until the camera snaps a shot of their license plate.
But Charles Yeh has created an app in less than a month simply called Speed Cameras Alert.
“You just kick it up and that's it,” he said. “You don't have to configure the app or do some kind of setting. It works with your navigational app like Waze or Google Maps.”
The app plots out the cameras in D.C. and they show up in the app. Click on a red drop pin and it will give you the exact location and tell you the speed limit.
Initially, Apple rejected the app claiming it was unsafe for officers. But they reversed the decision once Yeh explained the app only displays speed cameras -- not officers operating speed traps.
“I was very excited,” said Yeh. “I didn't expect that to happen.”
So what do some police departments think of this? Chevy Chase Village Police Chief John Fitzgerald said he is fine with the app under one condition.
“I absolutely do not support manipulating the phone to do these searches while someone is driving because that's unsafe,” said Fitzgerald. “I certainly support the information being out there.”
Yeh said he thought of that already. You don't have to look at your phone when a speed camera is nearby. An alarm notifies you even if the app is running in the background.
“Let’s say you’re using Google Maps or Waze and you will see a notification at the top saying there is a speed camera ahead,” said Yeh.
He is working on an Android version of this app now. He said the next updated version of the app will also identify speed cameras in Maryland and Virginia. Right now, the app just identifies D.C. speed cameras.
For Yeh, creating apps is his day job. He has seven apps in the App Store currently. But he is also an Uber driver at night just so he can meet people.