A university student has created an app that will warn drivers when they’re approaching photo radar locations across Edmonton.
Edmonton Photo Radar shows all the potential photo radar locations in the city. It also tracks the vehicle’s location and makes a noise when it comes within a few hundred metres of one of the city’s radar locations.
“I designed it so you wouldn’t need to be looking at the app while you’re using it,” developer Benjamin Lavin said.
“As you’re coming up to a radar, it will actually give you a loud audible alert so you can just listen out for it. You don’t have to have your phone screen turned on.”
Lavin is a computing science student at the University of Alberta. He started developing the app for fun after the city started making photo enforcement locations public this summer. Every Friday, radar locations for the following calendar week are posted online.
“As far as I’m aware, it’s the locations where the radar could be. It’s not necessarily that there is a radar there 100 per cent of the time, but there’s a good chance,” Lavin said.
It took him just a few days to create the first version of the app. It was downloaded 12,000 times in the first couple of weeks. Then, he developed an Android version.
“It started off just as a hobby, to see if I could take this info and put it into an app. Then I decided I’d try to add some more features to it and make it into something that people would actually want to use.”
While helping people save money is great, Lavin says the app is about more than that.
“I’m hoping, first of all, that people will just slow down and make sure that they are driving safely. Seond of all, as a result of that, I’m hoping that they’re saving money by not getting speeding tickets.”
So far, the overall response has been great.
“A lot of people have downloaded it, a lot of people like it,” Lavin said. “I’m getting emails and comments on Facebook about how much people appreciate it.”
“I wanted to make it free so that people can just use it, try it out. I do have a donation page on there. I’m in my fourth year of school so if anyone appreciates the app and wants to donate, help me fund my education, I’d appreciate that too.”