Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

"Tattling" as a mobile application

The "Catch-em" mobile application will allow users to report bad drivers.

Of course, as discussed before, police departments/traffic safety programs have to set up a system to at least communicate with the likely perpetrators of bad driving incidents, so that they know that there can be consequences, even if just opprobrium from what they do.

In Howard County, the police department does send letters to people who have been reported to them as driving unsafely. See the past blog entry, "Howard County Police Department Best Practice on Aggressive Driving."

Catch em is based on an Israeli product called Nirsham.  From "App would let Utahns tattle on bad drivers: Catch-em -- Crowdfunding to decide which U.S. city becomes testing ground" in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Goldman said his company works with large fleets — such as trucking companies, large retail chains or even pizza delivery stores — to report problems with their drivers.

It also reports to police. Goldman said images are first uploaded to its website where the public can vote whether what is shown is illegal and dangerous. If the vote is primarily "yes" over a week, it has a "team of experts" view photos and report it to the appropriate police agency.

The app allows pedestrians to capture images manually to report problems from their phones. For drivers, phones can be put in cradles on the dashboard — and the app will keep a 20-photo history of what is happening in front of them.

Frankly, I don't like the way this is set up, almost as a kind of game. It's interaction for the sake of interaction because in my opinion anyway, I don't see how the interaction adds substantive value. There doesn't need to be "interaction" to vote on whether or not incidents are unlawful, and the time to vote adds unnecessary delay.

But the ability to systematic capture and report incidents is a good one.  And I think that rewarding the state that provides the most commitments to fund the development of application with the testing phase is a good idea.

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