The four senators, Harry Reid (D-NV), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Tom Udall (D-NM), jointly thanked Research In Motion for removing the DUI checkpoint evasion apps on its Blackberry App World store. Yesterday, the senators sent a letter to RIM, Apple, Google and other smartphone companies asking them to remove apps that allow customers to avoid DUI checkpoints.
RIM's decision to remove these apps from their online store prove that when it comes to drunk driving, there should not be an app for that, said Schumer
The main source of concern is an app called PhantomAlert, which shows the locations of the DUI checkpoints, school zones, red light cameras and speed traps. It can also be uploaded to a user's GPS system and costs $9.99 per month. Other apps of this nature include Buzzed and Trapster.
The senators say having these kinds of apps available is dangerous. One person dies every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving accident, and more than 10,000 Americans die in drunk-driving crashes each year.
We appreciate the technology that has allowed millions of Americans to have information at their fingertips, but giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern. We hope that you will give our request to make these applications unavailable immediate consideration, the senators said in their letters to Google, RIM and Apple.
Google and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Google's Marketplace and Apple's App Store, PhantomAlert was still available as of 5 p.m. eastern time.