TomTom sends your data to the police

It seems that living off the grid is becoming more and more difficult with every electronic device apparently monitoring your location and sending information back to the parent company. Today’s privacy breach is courtesy of GPS maker TomTom, who just announced to their customers that they send travel data, including location and speed, to the “government and authorities.” According to TomTom’s CEO, this data has been used by local law enforcement to identify roads that have a high number of people driving over the speed limit in order to decide where to place speed trap cameras.

Based on the company’s message, it appears that TomTom only sends out anonymous data that can’t be tracked back to an individual user. The flaw in the logic is that since most people start using their GPS at their home, it would be trivial to identify the driver based on a consistent starting and ending location. With that information in hand, could police start sending out speeding tickets based on the GPS data, thus saving the costs of having to implement cameras at all? Although this isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s something that we need to think about going into the future.

As consumers, we are constantly giving away more and more of our personal privacy. Will there be a tipping point where people demand this privacy and will turn away from the electronic creature comforts in order to obtain it? Or are we too far down the rabbit hole to turn back now?

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Will customers demand privacy?

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109 Comments

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You can very easily opt-out of sending data, plus this story omits a lot of facts. Such as how this was with the Dutch police and how the Dutch police were NOT USING IT AS THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. They MISUSED the information to set up speedtraps.

I have some simple questions for all those who think this is surprising.

Who do you think provides the GPS satellites?
Who pays to maintain them?
How much do you pay per month for your GPS service?
Why do you think they provide this service for free, when we all know nothing is for free?
So, who has free access to all of our GPS habits regardless of GPS manufacturer?

Invizibleyez said,
I have some simple questions for all those who think this is surprising.

Who do you think provides the GPS satellites?
Who pays to maintain them?
How much do you pay per month for your GPS service?
Why do you think they provide this service for free, when we all know nothing is for free?
So, who has free access to all of our GPS habits regardless of GPS manufacturer?

Erm, you do know the difference between a GPS receiver and a GPS transceiver, right? I understand you're trying to say that the evil U.S. government/military provide GPS for free to control the brainwashed population, but a GPS chip in a phone does not transmit back anything - it only received a publicly available signal - sort of like FM radio.

I'd be happy as heck if cops actually started busting people for going to slow.

I do the speed limit, period. No faster, no slower and yes, I DO go over the speed limit to get around some one, but slow right back down to speed limit.

The general rule USED to be you were more or less allowed 5mph over just for the simple fact of the speedometers accuracy, but I see a lot of you think WAY differently than that here.

The people that are going 10-20mph over the speed limit are just as dangerous as those people going the same under the limit. It's those speeders who are going to slam into the rear of the slow drivers because they came up on them to fast, or they are going to swiftly change lanes without looking over their shoulder because they are going to fast.

I mean, it's simple mentality here. Why do you think it called a speed LIMIT?!

And BTW,
The posted speed limit is the safe speed for driving that particular road under IDEAL conditions, NOT worst conditions!

It's impossible for GPS to be used as an official way of verifying if someone is speeding, it's far too inaccurate unless the object is stationary.

Once the European Global Navigation Satellite System (Galileo) comes online, then yes it could be possible.

Jesse Moore said,
It's impossible for GPS to be used as an official way of verifying if someone is speeding, it's far too inaccurate unless the object is stationary.

Once the European Global Navigation Satellite System (Galileo) comes online, then yes it could be possible.

No need. An integrated car navigation system can read and store data directly from the speedometer and record it together with the lat/long coordinates at regular intervals.

I think it's a good thing to identify trouble spots, especially when you see reports of a particular road being used as a motorway that resulted in deaths!

"The flaw in the logic is that since most people start using their GPS at their home, it would be trivial to identify the driver based on a consistent starting and ending location. With that information in hand, could police start sending out speeding tickets based on the GPS data, thus saving the costs of having to implement cameras at all?"

And the flaw in that logic is that TomTom never said they send complete route history tied up with unique ID to the authorities. They said they send *aggregated* anonymous speed at location values - not driver X UID=12312312 started at location Y and drove to location Z. Talking about jumping to conclusions type of 'journalism'. Say wasn't Neowin's motto 10 years ago 'where unprofessional journalism looks better'?

It looks like it's time to get a new GPS!

You know, it would be funny if the police sent you a letter saying you sped @ 200 km/h as you left the car on a ferry ride accross the river. LOL.

With that information in hand, could police start sending out speeding tickets based on the GPS data, thus saving the costs of having to implement cameras at all?
No. No they could not. What kind of ridiculous fearmongering is this?

JamesWeb said,
No. No they could not. What kind of ridiculous fearmongering is this?

The type that manipulates people and sells tabloids.

And why are we learning about this now? Is TomTom the only manufacturer that is doing that? Because if they're the only one, then... Buh bye TomTom and Hello to Magellan (or any other good alternatives out there)

How is the speed computed by GPS ?
If this is done by the difference of 2 positions divided by time it is very inaccurate : each position is given with an error between 50 and 100 meters by my Tomtom !

You may want t check your state laws. Some states require (and even post) that if if have more than 5 cars stacked up behind you are obstructing traffic and must pull over to let the traffic clear. The charge on the ticket is "obstructing traffic". Those states have done studies that show that obstructing the flow of traffic cause more accidents because people have to change lanes and pass on the right.

I am sure TomTom wouldn't do this if they didn't have to. TomTom is a Dutch company, and in the Netherlands they have very strict privacy laws, far stricter than the US laws.

RichardK sounds like a grumpy old 8!tch! I guess RichardK has ALWAYS done the speed limit and NEVER exceeded it! That would be BREAKING THE LAW! <---- (Steve Langford voice) Is that about right RichardK?

This just gives me an even better reason to not use TomTom. Their software is crap anyways. I've been a very happy Garmin customer and it will not change anytime soon. As to the OP, you speak like a true brainwashed American that has had it drilled into his brain that what "the man" says is gold and we should listen to "the man" and love Him and respect Him as he only has it in our best interest. You like many other U.S. citizens have been brainwashed to not think for themselves and always need to be spoon-fed. Time and time again this has been proven that speed RARELY plays a factor in car accidents and deaths (except mindless street racing). Usually it is drunk drivers or drivers that have gotten their license by buying their examiner a big bouquet of flowers and a bottle of scotch.

ManOfMystery said,
Time and time again this has been proven that speed RARELY plays a factor in car accidents and deaths (except mindless street racing).

Well ... no.

-GPS has been used to fight speeding tickets. If it were that inaccurate it would be dismissed from court.
-55mph is the max speed limit in a lot of places because it saves on gas. Most highways are designed so cars can safely go well over that limit.
-It's been proven that speeders are typically more attentive.
-In most cases it's not the speed that kills; it's the DIFFERENCE in speed. If you are going 70mph and hit someone going 70mph, the force you hit them with will be far less than someone doing 70mph hitting another person doing 55mph. Believe it or not but it's the one idiot doing 55mph while everyone else is going 70mph that makes things unsafe.

S7un7 said,
-GPS has been used to fight speeding tickets. If it were that inaccurate it would be dismissed from court.
-55mph is the max speed limit in a lot of places because it saves on gas. Most highways are designed so cars can safely go well over that limit.
-It's been proven that speeders are typically more attentive.
-In most cases it's not the speed that kills; it's the DIFFERENCE in speed. If you are going 70mph and hit someone going 70mph, the force you hit them with will be far less than someone doing 70mph hitting another person doing 55mph. Believe it or not but it's the one idiot doing 55mph while everyone else is going 70mph that makes things unsafe.
Exactly!

S7un7 said,

-In most cases it's not the speed that kills; it's the DIFFERENCE in speed. If you are going 70mph and hit someone going 70mph, the force you hit them with will be far less than someone doing 70mph hitting another person doing 55mph. Believe it or not but it's the one idiot doing 55mph while everyone else is going 70mph that makes things unsafe.

facepalm.

Slow drivers ARE NOT GUILTY, they are annoying but nothing more.

Accidents are caused by those fast-and-idiot drivers that plague our highways, specially those irresponsible that do slalom.

Magallanes said,

facepalm.

Slow drivers ARE NOT GUILTY, they are annoying but nothing more.

Accidents are caused by those fast-and-idiot drivers that plague our highways, specially those irresponsible that do slalom.

You're not thinking about both sides. Yes the slow driver is obeying the law, I acknowledge that. On the other hand, that person is causing all the other drivers to make aggressive and stupid maneuvers because they are not going with the flow of traffic. There will ALWAYS be people that speed. If someone is not going with the flow of traffic they are creating a more dangerous situation than the people that are speeding. There will always be idiots out there that weave in and out of cars. I do agree that is completely irresponsible.

S7un7 said,

You're not thinking about both sides. Yes the slow driver is obeying the law, I acknowledge that. On the other hand, that person is causing all the other drivers to make aggressive and stupid maneuvers because they are not going with the flow of traffic. There will ALWAYS be people that speed. If someone is not going with the flow of traffic they are creating a more dangerous situation than the people that are speeding. There will always be idiots out there that weave in and out of cars. I do agree that is completely irresponsible.

Which in most sates in the US is in fact illegal. So yea they are breaking the law.

war said,
Which in most sates in the US is in fact illegal. So yea they are breaking the law.

Yes, and other than on the highway I go the speed limit + or - 5mph. Personally I would rather break the law by going with the flow of traffic than be rear ended or cut off by an aggressive driver. I know the law is the law but in some cases you need to adjust your driving to cater to other drivers so you don't make a dangerous situation more dangerous.

I find very little good to possibly say about people like you, OP. I find you to be backwards in your thinking, and often a slow-witted road hazard on the highway. People like you cause traffic and make everyone angry. Guess what? You're the minority. Time to get with the current century. Speed limits were conceived before we had good roads and are *in mind* with people going faster?

Get off your high horse please. Today I was driving behind a state trooper who was going 10 mph over the speed limit (no sirens) on the highway. What have you got to say to that?

Stup0t said,
You ******* with your gps... use a good old fashoined map, no tracking there hehe

Right, because you can use a map while driving... not.

"As consumers, we are constantly giving away more and more of our personal privacy."

Umm, no we're not. We're just doing business with companies that don't take our privacy seriously. The solution is simple, stop giving these people our money.

What I really need is an app to allow me to select the corporate behaviors I find objectionable, then recieve an alert when I'm about to give money to a company that acts in direct opposition to my values.

How does the GPS send the information back to Tom Tom? It must be only when you connect it to your PC. GPS receivers can't transmit information.

tmorris1 said,
How does the GPS send the information back to Tom Tom? It must be only when you connect it to your PC. GPS receivers can't transmit information.
Yeah I was wondering the same thing.

Tim Dawg said,
Yeah I was wondering the same thing.

A lot of the newer tomtoms have a bluetooth connection to your phone that downloads live traffic information (the Tomtom Live service) i assume it can also transmit data as well

Ever heard of the +5 mph rule, its called keeping up with traffic, here in the U.S a cop will not pull you over 99.9% of the time if you're 5mph over the speed limit. But, seriously, someone needs to sue tom tom out of business, like yesterday.

Mike Frett said,
lol look how much you guys rely on this tech. Kind of scary humans rely so much on something can be done without.
Your statement insinuates that you're not human!?!

another apple, another thing to avoid. People nowaday dont think about privacy, thats the fault of the new generation, stupid and careless.

glad I have a pioneer avic system which has NO internet connections, its built into the car, and the only way to update it is to put an update DVD into the system and it reinstalls everything... no plug it into the computer and let it pull data off so it can ship it out somewhere else.....

but then I thought we knew tomtom was storing this info? they use to ask if you want to send telemetry data back to them about roads and stuff so they can "update" maps......

neufuse said,
they use to ask if you want to send telemetry data back to them about roads and stuff so they can "update" maps......

In my opinion, there's a difference between using the data to update their maps (ie: keeping the data to themselves) and giving/selling it to the government for any reason.

I think this makes perfect sense, it is a lot cheaper than road surveys and suchlike.

As long as it is used properly to improve the road system rather than as a Big Brother scheme.

stevember said,
I think this makes perfect sense, it is a lot cheaper than road surveys and suchlike.

As long as it is used properly to improve the road system rather than as a Big Brother scheme.

Agreed! A road system thats constantly moving is better than a road system that packed full of accidents. Besides roads are changing all the time.....

This article is a bit wrong though. Before the press statement from TomTom, they passed anonymous data on to the police. The police would them check where people speed the most, to then raise the amount of speeding controles or whatever they're called in that specific area. They have now released a statement in which they say they will no longer give any data to the police. They could and would never give tickets based solely on anonymous gps data.

And this was only in the Netherlands, and the data the police received contained only the average speed on each road, and some data about the traffic density.

What a sensationalist news item.

Ambroos said,
And this was only in the Netherlands, and the data the police received contained only the average speed on each road, and some data about the traffic density.

What a sensationalist news item.

Yeah my Mum was talking to me about this yesterday, and it's just to let the police know where to put the speed cameras.

Since I can't edit my comment any more...

In the UK speed cameras should be set up where there are records of high numbers of accidents. People simply speeding isn't enough as they need to be seen as trying to make the roads safer, not used as a money making scheme.

You are incorrect they are not used to make money as they cost more than they get in return, this is a misinformation that is posted around by the anti-speed camera brigade.

Why do you think councils and police forces all over the country are cutting back on the cameras when they need to save money?

Surely it would be an idea to implement more if they make money!

You misunderstood me (or maybe I wrote it wrong). Of course they need to make money to keep them maintained, but they can't be seen as only put in place to make money if the road they're put on has no history of any accidents. They have to be reviewed every so often to see if they're doing their job in keeping the road safer and reducing accidents. If they aren't then they're considered for removal.

stevember said,
You are incorrect they are not used to make money as they cost more than they get in return, this is a misinformation that is posted around by the anti-speed camera brigade.

Why do you think councils and police forces all over the country are cutting back on the cameras when they need to save money?

Surely it would be an idea to implement more if they make money!

LOL! Sorry, you couldn't be more wrong. I have clients that are police departments and I know for a fact that they make money from these systems. And a LOT of money at that. These systems are all installed and maintained by a few companies who approach the cities or municipalities and ask if they would allow speed and red light camera's installed and in return they do no maintenance, no processing, etc. They just get a check at the end of the month for 50% of the total revenue's produced. These companies also handle issuing tickets, collecting revenue, paperwork, etc. The only thing they cannot handle is if you contest the ticket at which point they hand it over to the prosecutor to be handled in court.

I know this information first hand and I can tell you that they absolutely make money and a lot of money at that. I remember when the first red light camera's went into service in a local municipality, it caused outrage. Then it became public knowledge that just that small handful of red light camera's net'd the city +$2MM in the first year. Obviously they put in a lot more camera's after that. It's all the rage these days! It's a win-win for the city and camera company. The only loser is the citizen who may or may not have been breaking the law (I won't go into the technical problems with some of these systems and how inaccurate the person reviewing the camera's can be).

Tim Dawg said,
LOL! Sorry, you couldn't be more wrong. I have clients that are police departments and I know for a fact that they make money from these systems. And a LOT of money at that. These systems are all installed and maintained by a few companies who approach the cities or municipalities and ask if they would allow speed and red light camera's installed and in return they do no maintenance, no processing, etc. They just get a check at the end of the month for 50% of the total revenue's produced. These companies also handle issuing tickets, collecting revenue, paperwork, etc. The only thing they cannot handle is if you contest the ticket at which point they hand it over to the prosecutor to be handled in court.

I know this information first hand and I can tell you that they absolutely make money and a lot of money at that. I remember when the first red light camera's went into service in a local municipality, it caused outrage. Then it became public knowledge that just that small handful of red light camera's net'd the city +$2MM in the first year. Obviously they put in a lot more camera's after that. It's all the rage these days! It's a win-win for the city and camera company. The only loser is the citizen who may or may not have been breaking the law (I won't go into the technical problems with some of these systems and how inaccurate the person reviewing the camera's can be).

We're talking about the UK, not the US. Things work differently.

what said,
Since I can't edit my comment any more...

In the UK speed cameras should be set up where there are records of high numbers of accidents. People simply speeding isn't enough as they need to be seen as trying to make the roads safer, not used as a money making scheme.

One speed camera that I absolutely despise is near the M25, where a speed limit changes from 40 to 50, the speed camera monitors the last few metres of the 40 zone to catch people speeding up before the 50 sign. Absolutely despicable.

Not been caught out by it, I've only been driving for six months and have a clean licence.. just hate the pointlessness of that camera

This provides no evidence for who actually drove the vehicle. If you have a vehicle shared by more than one person, the police can't know who to give a speeding ticket to, should they ever decide to try and give tickets based on GPS data.

Slacker said,
This provides no evidence for who actually drove the vehicle. If you have a vehicle shared by more than one person, the police can't know who to give a speeding ticket to, should they ever decide to try and give tickets based on GPS data.
Owner of the vehicle would be responsible. That simple. Owner can be just that or the person renting the car for example.

war said,
Owner of the vehicle would be responsible. That simple. Owner can be just that or the person renting the car for example.

That's not true at all. It is the registered keeper's responsibility to ensure that people who drive the car are insured, but so long as those driver's are insured, the responsibility for speeding, accidents, etc, falls to the driver.

Just wondering, (and I know part of the logic is flawed) but don't companies have to ask permission to do certain things (like this one for example) even though the license agreement does not?! stipulate anything to that magnitude?

GPS is pretty inaccurate for calculating speeds because the triangulation can't account for changes in altitude. I'm not sure they could use it as sole evidence to prosecute motorists for speeding.

what said,
GPS is pretty inaccurate for calculating speeds because the triangulation can't account for changes in altitude. I'm not sure they could use it as sole evidence to prosecute motorists for speeding.

What? You were at X position at A time. Now you are at Y position at B time - minus the 2 to get speed. Consumer grade GPS for the most part is still about 4-5ms off actual but it's not like 600M or something. My GPS also shows altitude for sure (if configured).

I don't think anyone was saying they saying what you are stating though (speeding tickets prosecution) - I read it on engadget or something and they sold the data to the cops which used it to setup speed traps. If they see lots of people are speeding on X street then put a speed trap there to get more tickets! Gotta meet that quota you know

If you go down a hill the speedo in your car and the speed on the GPS will read different. If you have a good signal in a flat open area you get a pretty accurate reading on GPS, but on hills and in towns with tall buildings it's less accurate.

Think about it, if you're going downhill the distance seen by the satellites will be less even though it's the same distance at ground level, but the time will be the same, so you'll look like you're going slower.

what said,
GPS is pretty inaccurate for calculating speeds because the triangulation can't account for changes in altitude. I'm not sure they could use it as sole evidence to prosecute motorists for speeding.

As long as the receiver can communicate with at least 4 satellites, it can figure out your position + your altitude.

/- Razorfold said,

As long as the receiver can communicate with at least 4 satellites, it can figure out your position + your altitude.

And there are always 4 GPS satellites visible in the sky anywhere in the world.

chisss said,
wow... this is bad! I'm glad I don't own a TomTom anymore (Although I'm sure Navigon is/will do the same... )

What makes you so sure about it?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

What makes you so sure about it?

GS:mac


Because if the police have to pay for this "service" then others I'm sure will follow... I'm pretty sure TomTom doesn't provide this service for free to them...

We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.

Well you've got that wrong. If the conditions are right you are expected to drive at the maximum speed limits. In addition speed limits are set for the worst weather conditions i.e. dark, wet, low visibility, so it is perfectly reasonable to go above the speed limit for much of the time.

GPS is inaccurate for calculating speeds. If people aren't meant to have freedom on the roads everything should be on rails.

RichardK said,
We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.


How about this: No.

I'd get a dedicated GPS system and rip out the standard one.

GS:mac

RichardK said,

Spoken like someone who has no concept (or respect) for the laws which you agreed to abide by when you received your driver's license.

It's idiots that think like you do that cause 99% of the traffic accidents on the roads.

If the posted speed limit is 55, then that is the MAXIMUM speed you can drive legally. PERIOD.


Legality has no effect on how safe/dangerous something is. Thank god you live in the US (land of the free amirite?).

Also, clean driving record ftw. I drive safely.

RichardK said,
We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.

In the USA we have whats called a Constitution and if you do what your saying you might as well tare it up and start making up all sorts of laws that take our liberty's away. Which they are already doing just not as bad as that.

RichardK said,
If the posted speed limit is 55, then that is the MAXIMUM speed you can drive legally. PERIOD.

Aah, I'm going to enjoy jumping on my bike later on today.

Whassat, 55 miles per hour? 2.5 seconds - although I doubt it'll drop below 100 at any given time.

daPhoenix said,

Aah, I'm going to enjoy jumping on my bike later on today.

Whassat, 55 miles per hour? 2.5 seconds - although I doubt it'll drop below 100 at any given time.

And I have buzzed cops at 65 when the limit is 55 because if I did not do 65 my ass would get run the hell over. The cop did nothing.

Also You actually WANT Big Brother knowing everywhere your driving, when, and how fast?

RichardK said,

Spoken like someone who has no concept (or respect) for the laws which you agreed to abide by when you received your driver's license.

It's idiots that think like you do that cause 99% of the traffic accidents on the roads.

If the posted speed limit is 55, then that is the MAXIMUM speed you can drive legally. PERIOD.

It's idiots like you who cause traffic congestion by driving side by side at the same speed in both lanes; the standard driving lane and the overtaking lane. It has also been proven that slower drives are in more accidents as they tend to be less confident behind the wheel. If you feel the need to drive slow, you shouldn't be driving at all. Confident drives drive at the maximum speed limit (not under) and/or drive higher than the speed limit. Excessive speeding with younger drivers owning older, not so well maintained cars is the exception to this rule.

RichardK said,
We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.

Bad experience there buddy? I personally get extremely annoyed when I'm on a nice and open road that is SAFE to do the maximum speed limit and some berk is doing 20mph less then posted. The speed limit is what you should be doing if it is safe to do so.

Do you do 70mph on the motorways too? Everyone does at least 80mph on them, heck I've been on when you can be in the slow lane and the minimum speed everyone is going is 90mph!

Billus said,
If you feel the need to drive slow, you shouldn't be driving at all.

If you feel the need to drive faster than the speed limit, you shouldn't be driving either.
The speed limit is the speed you should be doing, no more and no less.

Aethec said,

If you feel the need to drive faster than the speed limit, you shouldn't be driving either.
The speed limit is the speed you should be doing, no more and no less.

Then why isn't the road system made on rails where you can't control your speed? Would certainly ease congestion and reduce accidents if it was all automated.

Driving over the limit is safe in many conditions. As I said above the limits are set for when conditions are at their most dangerous - dark, wet/icy, and low visibility.

Aethec said,

If you feel the need to drive faster than the speed limit, you shouldn't be driving either.
The speed limit is the speed you should be doing, no more and no less.

Seriously? In the UK the max speed limit is 70mph and that was introduced in the early 60's. Most people agree they need a re-think due to the safety of modern cars. I even saw something in the papers saying that they are thinking about 80mph on motorways. This is because it is SAFE to do so as they are so open and straight, it also helps with congestion and the time taken to get there.

There are plenty of cases where you may have to break the speed limit, in cases of accelerating to overtake a car, accelerating to get of the way of an emergency vehicle.

necrosis said,
And I have buzzed cops at 65 when the limit is 55 because if I did not do 65 my ass would get run the hell over. The cop did nothing.

Also You actually WANT Big Brother knowing everywhere your driving, when, and how fast?

I agree with this. It's the people who drive 10mph UNDER the speed limit that cause accidents. Those are the dangerous drivers that cause people to change lanes to get around their slow ass. Or, the cars driving UNDER the speed limit in the left lane (North America) that cause the huge train of cars behind them forcing undue amounts of road rage.

Using electronic devices automatically takes away your privacy. Whether it's cell phones, GPS units... anything that transmits a signal. TomTom is just the first company to be caught by John Q.

what said,
Well you've got that wrong. If the conditions are right you are expected to drive at the maximum speed limits. In addition speed limits are set for the worst weather conditions i.e. dark, wet, low visibility, so it is perfectly reasonable to go above the speed limit for much of the time.

GPS is inaccurate for calculating speeds. If people aren't meant to have freedom on the roads everything should be on rails.

+1

Posted speed limits are maximum safe speed during worst expected conditions (low-light, rain, etc) and police officers know this. There is a bill in congress I believe to bump the country-wide maximum to either 80 or 85MPH because advances in safety equipment as well as the statistical argument. Slow or unconfident drivers cause accidents.

At the same time, law is law, and if you do happen to be pulled over for doing 10 over, you might as well tell the officer "you caught me lol kthxbai" because these arguments don't work in court. Cops typically don't pull you over until they see 11+ over the limit (everywhere I've been NC, SC, TN, GA, FL, MD (not like there are many chances here anyway), NY, PA. They may have a quota to meet, though.

what said,
Well you've got that wrong. If the conditions are right you are expected to drive at the maximum speed limits. In addition speed limits are set for the worst weather conditions i.e. dark, wet, low visibility, so it is perfectly reasonable to go above the speed limit for much of the time.

WHAT!? Holy hell ... are you stupid? The law states you may not travel above the legal speed limit. Fact. You don't have special conditions applied if it's dry weather you know!!! lol ... Wow, ignorance at it's finest.

Dude, you probably assume if it's a nice hot day you're allowed to drink a few extra beers before jumping into a car too. LOL!

Fact is, you're wrong, and you better read the law again before you drive.

Spirit Dave said,

WHAT!? Holy hell ... are you stupid? The law states you may not travel above the legal speed limit. Fact. You don't have special conditions applied if it's dry weather you know!!! lol ... Wow, ignorance at it's finest.

Dude, you probably assume if it's a nice hot day you're allowed to drink a few extra beers before jumping into a car too. LOL!

Fact is, you're wrong, and you better read the law again before you drive.

I don't remember saying we actually have variable speed limits that change with weather conditions (well except on motorways), only that it's often safe to go over the speed limit. But hey ho, I must be incredibly stupid for being able to read

RichardK said,
Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed...

Before making a statement make you fully understand the law!

A "Speed Limit", however, isn't a law. Posted speed limits, called "prima facie limits" in the California Vehicle Code, are the suggested maximum safe speed for that particular stretch of road under normal driving conditions. The law in force here is CVC sec 22350, sometimes called the Basic Speed Law, which states that "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

In other words, unless a speed limit sign has the word "MAXIMUM" you can safetly drive over it, I have done it many times and continue to do it on a daily basis on my road travels. I've gotten out of every ticket in my lifetime using this argument in court. I would take pictures of the speed sign where I was pulled over and present it in court and request the officer to identify the "MAXIMUM" verbiage post on the sign.

I'm just going to throw this out here: "A 2005 study by the German Federal Interior Ministry indicated that Autobahn sections with unrestricted speed have the same crash record as sections with speed limits."

http://www.ehow.com/about_6726...-vs_-interstate-safety.html

Basically I believe its the mix and match of slow people getting into the way of faster people.
If we just made speed limits more close to how people actually drove on the roads instead of forcing slower people to stay slow and faster people to become aggravated.

I believe all highways should have a limitless left lane followed by a speed of around 70-80mph in the other right lanes. If anyone is caught slowing down someone in the left lane they THEY get 3 tickets for blocking a lane, endangering peoples lives with reckless driving, and for not passing/staying in the left lane.
This will prevent a lot of accidents. Most people do not even use their mirrors on the highway unless they change lanes. THAT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM, they have no idea what is going on behind them!

In other countries people actually care about driving, in America we want fries and make-up with cellphones on top.

I am an avid supporter of every minor being required to learn to drive on a stick-shift till they become 21 or for at least 3 years, to help alleviate distracted driving.

SierraSonic said,
I'm just going to throw this out here: "A 2005 study by the German Federal Interior Ministry indicated that Autobahn sections with unrestricted speed have the same crash record as sections with speed limits."

http://www.ehow.com/about_6726...-vs_-interstate-safety.html

Over 65mph, every extra 5 mph double the fatality rate.

In any case, it is not the same to measure a rural highway (like Autobahn) that other urban and rural highway. Also is the fact that to drive in the Autobahn required a special license.

Glassed Silver said,

How about this: No.

I'd get a dedicated GPS system and rip out the standard one.

GS:mac

You mean like a TomTom?

Routerbad said,

+1

Posted speed limits are maximum safe speed during worst expected conditions (low-light, rain, etc) and police officers know this. There is a bill in congress I believe to bump the country-wide maximum to either 80 or 85MPH because advances in safety equipment as well as the statistical argument. Slow or unconfident drivers cause accidents.

At the same time, law is law, and if you do happen to be pulled over for doing 10 over, you might as well tell the officer "you caught me lol kthxbai" because these arguments don't work in court. Cops typically don't pull you over until they see 11+ over the limit (everywhere I've been NC, SC, TN, GA, FL, MD (not like there are many chances here anyway), NY, PA. They may have a quota to meet, though.

SCHP Officers are trained not to pull you until you are going 15MPH over the posted speed limit. Not that they can't if you are going 1 MPH over, they can of course. But most, 99% do as trained.

And speaking of court. I have testified in court many times. So yes you are right, you should be honest and just confess what you did. More than likely you will only get a warning if you do. Unless of course you have many tickets or unpaid ones. Or act like an ass.

RichardK said,
We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.

No way. too much government intrusion in our lives anyway.

Billus said,

It's idiots like you who cause traffic congestion by driving side by side at the same speed in both lanes; the standard driving lane and the overtaking lane. It has also been proven that slower drives are in more accidents as they tend to be less confident behind the wheel. If you feel the need to drive slow, you shouldn't be driving at all. Confident drives drive at the maximum speed limit (not under) and/or drive higher than the speed limit. Excessive speeding with younger drivers owning older, not so well maintained cars is the exception to this rule.

No, it's the idiots that are doing 10 under because it's sprinkling that cause the accidents. If you can't drive, gtf off the roads.

Won't be using TomTom anymore.

RichardK said,
We should have done this already. Every new vehicle sold should have a GPS system installed, when you register your vehicle you register that GPS device also. Whenever your GPS shows you going over the speed limit, you should get a ticket in the mail for breaking the law. If you want to contest it in court, that's up to you.

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed. And it doesn't give anyone the right to tailgate someone just because they aren't going the posted speed limit.

I think everyone who commented on this thread is an idiot. Especially you, the OP. There's no point in arguing over something that everyone is going to have their own opinion on. Get over it. Some people speed some people don't. If you're that big of a ***** to go a few miles over and your car sucks that much that its going to fall apart at 80mph, then that's your problem. Great for you. If you want to go 80-120mph on the highway and kill yourself then that too is your problem when the time comes.

As for me, I don't want the government knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing at any time of the year/day/month. They can go **** themselves. I won't be using TomTom GPS anymore.

RichardK said,

Way too many people read the Speed Limit as the speed you should be going, or for the idiots out there "10 miles over the speed limit". The posted speed limit is just that, the maximum legal speed. Doesn't mean everyone has to go that speed.

+1. And if you are driving above the posted speed limit you're breaking the law and endangering lives. Simple as that and not open to negotiation. I agree that people should not hinder traffic, but you can't and shouldn't get frustrated with people just because they choose to drive 30 in a 50 max zone or are less confident than you drivers. Just overtake them and be polite.

Breach said,

+1. And if you are driving above the posted speed limit you're breaking the law and endangering lives. Simple as that and not open to negotiation. I agree that people should not hinder traffic, but you can't and shouldn't get frustrated with people just because they choose to drive 30 in a 50 max zone or are less confident than you drivers. Just overtake them and be polite.

Doing 30 in a 50 is extremely dangerous. Can't you see that?

what said,

Doing 30 in a 50 is extremely dangerous. Can't you see that?

Mind-boggling. Explain please how crashing or hitting a pedestrian at 30 is more dangerous than doing the same at 50. But yes, you're right, it can be - there are strange drivers who would hit you from behind just because you're not driving at the max speed limit. Luckily enough the law says they are at fault.

alpha2beta said,
In the USA we have whats called a Constitution and if you do what your saying you might as well tare it up and start making up all sorts of laws that take our liberty's away. Which they are already doing just not as bad as that.
Driving is a Privilege, not a right, ergo it wouldn't apply..

GPS being inaccurate is true between any two points, but over a length of a trip it all averages out..

Most Highways you get ~10kmph above, after that you should be stopped and charged. Likewise going to slow ( which is also Illegal btw, excluding weather conditions, where you are required to slow down ).

I'd have no problem with this as long as how it gets used is open and transparent.. Find people that are speeding Well over the limit, find people involved in hit and runs, and other vehicle based crimes, not to mention validate peoples stories about where they were and when when involved in criminal investigations..

Breach said,

Mind-boggling. Explain please how crashing or hitting a pedestrian at 30 is more dangerous than doing the same at 50. But yes, you're right, it can be - there are strange drivers who would hit you from behind just because you're not driving at the max speed limit. Luckily enough the law says they are at fault.

Almost all roads here that are 50mph are in non-pedestrianised areas. If everyone is doing 50mph on a road (pedestrianised or not) and suddenly someone is doing 30, there's going to be an accident.

If you can't drive at a reasonable speed because you are unconfident, you shouldn't be on the roads at all... Part of the driving test here is to show you can maintain the speed limit. If you can't, you fail.

what said,

Almost all roads here that are 50mph are in non-pedestrianised areas. If everyone is doing 50mph on a road (pedestrianised or not) and suddenly someone is doing 30, there's going to be an accident.

That's why there are slow and fast lanes. Sure, doing 30 in the fast lane is frustrating and even illegal. So is failure to maintain proper distance.

what said,
If you can't drive at a reasonable speed because you are unconfident, you shouldn't be on the roads at all...

I would rather have someone with a fresh driver's license doing 30 than 50 any day now.

what said,

Part of the driving test here is to show you can maintain the speed limit. If you can't, you fail.

Funny, I don't remember anyone at the DMV telling me I should strive to maintain the speed limit at all times or I'd fail the test.

Breach said,
Funny, I don't remember anyone at the DMV telling me I should strive to maintain the speed limit at all times or I'd fail the test.

Then we live in different countries and the discussion is pointless because we have totally different road regulations.

what said,

Then we live in different countries and the discussion is pointless because we have totally different road regulations.

In Europe we too have specific signs which determine MINIMUM speed limits (the ones on a blue background). The MAXIMUM speed limit ones do not determine the MINIMUM threshold. And, yes, you can get a citation for obstructing traffic, just as likely as you're to if you're driving at the maximum speed limit in a fog.

Un4given said,

No, it's the idiots that are doing 10 under because it's sprinkling that cause the accidents. If you can't drive, gtf off the roads.

Won't be using TomTom anymore.

Slower drivers causing accidents is a myth. Most accidents are caused by distracted drivers. People who say that slow drivers cause accidents are only justifying their anger and impatience with drivers driving slower than they would like.

In response to the subject of the article, I would say that using a GPS to give you a ticket is a violation of your rights, but using a collection of anonymous information to determine habits is not. All TomTom is doing is telling the police that people tend to speed more in certain locations.

Breach said,

That's why there are slow and fast lanes. Sure, doing 30 in the fast lane is frustrating and even illegal. So is failure to maintain proper distance.
I would rather have someone with a fresh driver's license doing 30 than 50 any day now.

Funny, I don't remember anyone at the DMV telling me I should strive to maintain the speed limit at all times or I'd fail the test.

No such thing as a slow or fast lane (in the UK), There is a running lane and an overtaking lane, thats it!

what said,
Well you've got that wrong. If the conditions are right you are expected to drive at the maximum speed limits. In addition speed limits are set for the worst weather conditions i.e. dark, wet, low visibility, so it is perfectly reasonable to go above the speed limit for much of the time.

GPS is inaccurate for calculating speeds. If people aren't meant to have freedom on the roads everything should be on rails.

Speed limits aren't set for the worst weather conditions at all.. In icy weather I wouldn't drive at 60mph on long winding back roads.

Additionally, I wouldn't drive through the middle of town at 30mph at midday on a Saturday when there are thousands of people around, I'd go more like 15/20 and even then be ready to stop suddenly..

Speed limits are supposed to be followed no matter what the weather is like, otherwise the highway code (or your country's respective road traffic manual if you're not from the UK) would say "You only need to stick to the speed limit if weather/driving conditions are bad." Clearly it doesn't say anything like that.

That said... I do speed on the motorway because having a speed limit of 70mph on a massively long almost completely straight road with multiple wide lanes is just silly. In fact, a lot of speed limits are silly. More credit should be given to drivers to drive based on the conditions.

BUT.. one thing that does peeve me is people who speed in 30mph areas. There was a big TV appeal with an advert in the UK a while ago that says there's an 80% chance somebody will live if you hit them at 30, but an 80% chance they'll die if you hit them at 40. Doesn't stop some stupid pricks around here going about 50.

what said,

Almost all roads here that are 50mph are in non-pedestrianised areas. If everyone is doing 50mph on a road (pedestrianised or not) and suddenly someone is doing 30, there's going to be an accident.

If you can't drive at a reasonable speed because you are unconfident, you shouldn't be on the roads at all... Part of the driving test here is to show you can maintain the speed limit. If you can't, you fail.

In theory if you're driving 20mph under the speed limit you should put your hazards on just like you're supposed to on a motorway or dual carriageway when traffic in front of you slows down suddenly.

I would still say it's the fault of the drivers running into the back of someone only driving at 30 though.. if you can't see around a corner or over a hill/bridge, which is where you are most likely to run into the back of someone, slow the hell down before you go around/over it. And if you run into the back of someone on a straight road well that's just idiotic!