NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #107

There’s An App For That — But There Shouldn’t Be

We reported a few newsletters ago (Issue #93) that the overwhelmed police department in Delhi, India is encouraging people to post alleged traffic violations to the department’s Facebook page.

Now Shazam co-founder Philip Inghelbrecht has upped the ante by introducing DriveMeCrazy, a smartphone app that allows anyone to anonymously write a virtual traffic ticket, making the results available to the DMV and insurance companies in the process.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

To issue the pseudo-citation, the DriveMeCrazy (DMC) user submits a “bad flag” against a motorist by verbally entering the alleged offender’s license plate number into the smartphone along with a description of the perceived offense. That information, along with date, time and location, is entered into the DMC database, which is accessible to all.

In fact, the DMC website touts that, “We submit a summary of all bad driving flags to the various Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on a regular basis.” Also noted on the site: “In the same way that the DMV shares its information, we hand over our flags to the insurance companies so that they can conduct a proper investigation. In short, our flags aren’t used to set premiums, but we sure do help the insurance companies by pointing out the potentially dangerous people on the road.

There is additional evidence that Mr. Inghelbrecht is living in an alternate reality. He notes that his database of thousands of reports of bad driver behavior is “obviously interesting to the insurance companies, who are truly information starved.” Meanwhile, he assures absolute anonymity — except for the motorist who is flagged.

DriveMeCrazy is not just an application to get those aggressive drivers off of the road. Users of the app can drop the veil of anonymity when issuing “good” flags via their smartphones. What is a good flag? The tag line on each page of the DMC website lets you know: “DriveMeCrazy asks you to please use our app responsibly and obey your local laws. If possible pull over, then flag that cutie or report the driver.

DMC is an all-purpose app, one that allows you to flirt AND settle grievances with just a few vocal commands. The roads are safer already.

P.S. If you decide to check out the DMC site and don’t use the link we provided above, don’t mistakenly go to DriveMeCrazy.com. At least, not with the kids around.

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