New software designed for mobile phones and PDAs will allow motorists in the U.S. to warn fellow drivers of police speed traps and red-light cameras by sounding off an alarm when approaching a known threat. The system works by users submitting information about known threats to a central database, which then warns other drivers by sending an alert to their mobile device.

Dubbed ‘Trapster’, the new system is the creation of Pete Tenereillo, who insists the software was not developed to encourage motorists to flirt with the law but instead to promote safer driving. Upon seeing a speed trap or red-light camera, motorists would punch in a special code that sends information about their location to a central database. Information about active speed traps is only kept for an hour, with the idea that officers may move on, reports the Associated Press.

The system can only detect mobile devices that feature GPS or WiFi capability, the latter requiring information from a database run by Skyhook Wireless in the U.S. To prevent fake entries from pranksters and law-enforcement officials, the system features a user rating system but overall accuracy will depend on how many active users are actually present. Currently, Trapster is still in beta testing but we bet it will be one very popular service once it’s fully up and running.

Via: The Truth About Cars