INSIDE MOBILE: How to End Speeding Tickets Using Wireless Technology

Highway patrol officers often spend hours on the side of the road using a radar gun to catch those driving above the speed limit. This is not an efficient way for these public safety officers to deal with problems of speeding and reckless driving. Here, Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy explains how wireless technology will end the use of speeding tickets, allowing officers to focus on other serious crimes that need their greater attention.


With a topic like this, I absolutely first have to say that I believe in speed limits. I also support the hardworking, and often not appreciated, public safety officers who help deal with accidents and problems that deserve their attention. With that said, the nature of a speed limit has become accepted in society as a guideline, a general indicator of the speed at which people should travel. Of course, unless you have been a recluse at home for the past few years, drivers on major interstate highways almost never drive slower than the posted speed limits.

Most states have established laws that define "speeding" as a driver and the car exceeding the posted speed limit by 10mph. Thus, if the posted sign says 65mph, then most of the time you won't get pulled over for a speeding ticket when doing 74mph. Bad weather and driving congestion naturally alter the average speed downward.

When I see these speed traps, I get mad-but not for the reason you might think. I'm not upset that police officers are trying to catch speeders. Rather, I'm upset because these paid guardians of our public safety are wasting so much of their valuable time sitting on the side of the road just to give out a few tickets to those who are driving too fast.

I believe there's a much better solution, and there's already indication that systems are coming into place that may eliminate the need for any highway patrol officer to ever worry about simple vehicle speed enforcement again.

A better solution

Here's the way I believe this new solution should work in the long term. All cars will have multiple transmitting radios-from Wi??íFi to third-generation or fourth-generation cellular to mesh networking-so that cars can network with each other and be connected to the highway patrol. Most cars have a toll sensor in the window as well that isn't active but does allow the car to be recognized when it passes a toll booth or toll lane. There are two basic driver issues that need to be addressed: 1) those that speed and 2) those who drive recklessly.

Regarding driving recklessly (or appearing to do that via something wrong with the car) should be dealt with via intervention. First, the local wireless mesh should result in vehicles self-programmed to get out of the way. Second, the local police and highway patrol should have the right to intervene and stop the car. We have all seen situations where two cars are racing each other or someone is directing road rage at someone else, trying to get ahead by cutting them off, using their car as a weapon. These situations can easily be detected. Once that happens, the local police or highway patrol should take over control of the car and pull them safely over to the side of the road.

For those that want to go faster than the posted speed limit (for example, they want to drive 80mph in a 65mph zone), we should change the entire process of scolding violators to automatically generating revenue for the privilege of driving faster and getting to your destination more quickly. Once cars are outfitted with wireless communications, public safety can communicate with each car, and the cars and trucks can then also communicate with each other via mesh networking.