A new Android smartphone app could potentially save you money on fines and points on your license the next time you find flashing lights in the rearview mirror. Or paranoid parents can use it to make sure their teens are not developing a lead foot like dear old dad or mom.
A speed monitoring app that purports to protect consumer rights and encourage safe driving, My Max Speed for Android uses a smartphone's GPS capability and accelerometer to precisely log a car's speed and location every five seconds. The app displays the highest speed in the past five minutes of driving so that you can show it to the friendly officer who pulled you over. Or a sympathetic judge in court.
App data is stored in a spreadsheet format and can be downloaded to Excel, Powerpoint or Word in five-minute snapshots. Pull up the spreadsheet display in the app and tap on a specific speed to show the exact location where it occurred on a map. This feature will also strike terror in teen drivers, at least until they figure out a way to hack the app.
My Max Speed can also come in handy if you suspect an officer has stopped you for a bogus moving violation in order to cite you for an uncontestable secondary offense. By law, a driver can only be cited for secondary offenses such as proof of insurance or hands-on cell phone usage after being pulled over for a primary offense like speeding. So having proof that you were not actually speeding could get you off the hook in court — if you get a technology-friendly judge.
My Max Speed is available for free in an ad-supported version and for $4.99 in an ad-free version. — Gretchen McFarlan, contributor
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