To the editor: I find it very unsettling to read that the Waze traffic app is beloved by so many because "people may drive better if they know a police officer is around"; "most users drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby"; "it's a warning to slow down and avoid a speeding ticket"; and because it helps avoid speed traps. ("L.A. police chief goes public with concerns over Google Waze app," Jan. 28)
Frankly, I'm appalled that so many people don't just simply observe the speed limits and drive safely — because it is the safe and legal thing to do. Are all these people routinely bad and unsafe drivers unless they think they will get caught?
Jane Diamond, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: That Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck calls for a "dialogue" about the popular Waze app because of a single (though horrible) incident in New York that didn't even involve the use of the app prompts all kinds of questions.
What about the hundreds of lives saved when drivers slow down and become more aware because they've learned that an officer is nearby? How many potential accidents are prevented when drivers are routed away from hazardous conditions? What if just one life is saved if someone is being stalked or endangered and is able to locate a nearby police officer?
Is the ultimate goal of a police presence to entrap drivers or to provide public safety? "To protect and to serve" — that means the public, right?
Alitta Kullman, Laguna Hills
To the editor: Beck expressed his concerns regarding the Waze traffic app that tracks the location of police cars throughout the city.
Beck apparently has no such concerns about the automatic license plate readers that his police department uses to track every license plate it encounters, recording the time and place where that plate was spotted.
It seems the Police Department wants to protect its privacy when it is spying on every driver in Los Angeles. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Sal Tarantino, San Diego
To the editor: Waze says, "Most users tend to drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby."
Grow up, people. Just assume that law enforcement is always nearby. Imagine the benefits.
Paul Cooley, Culver City
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