News / Calgary

Calgary photo radar app warns you when approaching a speeding trap

The developer hopes the app will help Calgarians avoid unnecessary tickets

A new app shows drivers where photo radar vehicles are set up throughout Calgary.

Jennifer Friesen / Calgary Freelance

A new app shows drivers where photo radar vehicles are set up throughout Calgary.

Getting caught by a photo radar sucks.

Not that Metro condones speeding or driving distracted, but seeing that cop step out and call you over, or receiving a charge in the mail, encourages a sinking feeling that can easily ruin a day.

App developer Ben Lavin hopes to prevent that.

Lavin has created an app with the straightforward name Photo Radar App, and it’s exactly what it claims – a map of photo radar locations around the city.

As you’re driving around, the app will let loose an audible ping noise, letting you know to slow your roll, as you’re approaching a photo radar.

“It’s a nice reminder for people to drive within the speed limit and drive safely, especially now that the weather is getting worse and the roads are getting slippery,” Lavin said.

“Also, hopefully people will avoid having to pay expensive speeding fines, because they’re now driving slower.”

Originally released for the City of Edmonton in September, the Photo Radar App is now compatible with the Alberta cities of Calgary, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Red Deer and others.

Lavin is a University of Alberta Computer Science student. He came up with the idea when a friend clued him in to a recent development in Edmonton – the city was making data around its photo radar locations public every month.

“It was really just a challenge I set for myself, to see if I could take this date and develop an app that would put it into a usable format from people,” he explained.

Calgary and a number of Alberta cities make their photo radar locations public, too, helping Lavin adapt the app for different cities.

He plans to keep updating it, and hopefully make it more customizable with options such as how far you need to be from a radar before getting a warning, or the type of alert you’ll receive.

The app is available at no cost for iPhone and Android under Photo Radar App. Visit https://photoradarapp.com for more information.

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