Phone application hopes to stop bad drivers and keep roads safer

By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

COLUMBIS, SC (WIS) - Thousands of drivers will soon hit the road for the holidays, and some of them will be "on patrol."

In the war against bad drivers, the arsenal of those who respond has typically been harsh language, a shaking fist, or a shaking finger. However, now there's an iPhone application called DriveMeCrazy. Philip Inghelbrecht designed it. He says it's supposed to combat the problem of driver anonymity. "People do silly if not stupid things on the road because they think they can get away with it," says Inghelbrecht, "I can cut you off and drive away, and there's no social or monetary repercussion to that."

If you're on the road and you see somebody doing something they shouldn't be doing, all you have to do is push a button. The application will read the license plate number and then write a ticket or even record a voice note. The number is then sent to a central database, which is relayed to the offender's state DMV. But DriveMeCrazy's website admits it doesn't know if the DMV actually uses or even looks at it. Inghelbrecht says he is trying to get insurance companies to use the data. It's a fact that is concerning to some Columbia drivers.

"I think it's crazy," says driver Charles Capko.

"Someone could have a situation they're not even responsible for and have it turned in by somebody that wants to be vindictive," says driver Michael Robinson.

"I think it's way too much invasion of privacy with people having no recourse," says driver Mary Lou Cook.

Inghelbrecht says they can filter out abusive or repetitive flags. He says if drivers know a program like this exists, the roads will be safer. "I wouldn't go as far as to say it's like an unmarked police vehicle," says Inghelbrecht, "I can't say that, but when there's a police vehicle next to us, don't we all drive a little more cautiously and responsibly?"

DriveMeCrazy also allows you to flag good drivers and even "hot" drivers. They can receive messages you send them if they use the application. It's free, and you can find it in apple's application store.

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