TrapTap keeps you updated on speed traps while keeping your eye on the road

Speed traps have long been the bane of drivers’ existence, especially when traveling on unfamiliar roads while on vacation or on business. More recently, red light cameras and school zones with cameras that record speeding have only made driving even more frustrating for some people.

TrapTap is a small, disc-shaped dashboard-mounted device that alerts drivers of speed traps, red light cameras and school zones to decrease the chances of getting fined. The device uses Bluetooth Low-energy (BLE) to communicate with Android and iOS smartphones via a free app and GPS mapping software on the phone.

TrapTap automatically connects to the phone each time the user enters the vehicle. The device is legal because it doesn’t use any radar detecting technologies. TrapTap ships in July at $179.99, but early bird Kickstarter backers can get one for a pledge starting at $67. Its makers hope to raise $64,316 by May 14.

The device could benefit many drivers. However, there are already apps for mobile devices that do much the same thing, so consumers need to weigh if TrapTap’s automatic-on functionality that makes it a more hands-free experience is worth the price.

The most significant negative is tied to the network effect. If only a small number of consumers buy one because the more people there are using it, the more people there will be to report new mobile speed traps and cop radar traps. TrapTap, however, automatically works for all other red light cameras and school zones since those are pre-mapped and kept up-to-date on the user’s device.

Jeff Berman is a Long Island-based freelance reporter, who has also contributed stories to publications including TheStreet and the consumer electronics magazines Dealerscope and TWICE. He previously worked as a senior editor and deputy managing editor of the trade newsletter Consumer Electronics Daily, published by Warren Communications News.