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NYPD to Google: Delete police checkpoints from maps

NYPD to Google: Delete police checkpoints from maps

NYPD wants Google to cancel its Waze feature that allows users to flag police checkpoints.

The New York Police Department is demanding that Google remove a feature in the Waze app that allows users to share the location of police checkpoints for drivers. The NYPD is none too pleased about the sneaky drunk driving hack: On Saturday, it hit Google with a sternly-worded letter, accusing the tech giant of tacitly undermining the city's goal of Vision Zero, a NY free of traffic fatalities.

StreetsBlog speculated the cease-and-desist letter may also pertain to Waze's brand new "speed cam" function that lets drivers notify others about the locations of speed and red light cameras.

The flipside of this is that people may just reroute to avoid a police roadblock if they've had a few drinks. Because of this, the department is struggling to find and stop drivers who are driving under unsafe conditions and is pointing the finger at Waze for "irresponsibly" aiding them. They are revealing the situation of checkpoints places these drivers, their passengers, and most people in danger.

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"Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google", a Google spokesperson told WLNY CBS New York in a statement. That's all well and good but apparently, the app can also find and report DWI police checkpoints. The police department claims that by taking part in the crowdsourcing, users are knowingly attempting to interfere with the "administration of DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws". She added: "The goal is to make everyone aware that if you drink, don't drive, and if you drive, don't drink".

The NYPD letter adds that they will not hesitate to pursue further legal action if Waze continues to provide what it characterizes as "irresponsible and risky information". But now they have a problem to contend with: the Waze app.

Since it was bought by Google, Waze has continued to grow.

The app shows potential riders along the way - and it provides contact information for the driver. The application works via crowdsourcing, letting drivers add information about the location of crashes, delays, and other metrics in order to help reduce travel time and improve driver safety.