back to article Apple purges drunk-driving apps

Apple has changed the T&C for its iTunes app store to specifically exclude applications that warn of approaching police check-points. Applications alerting users to police activity ahead have already been expunged from the RIM App World, and with Apple’s new rules (spotted by AutoBlog) it’s now only Android users who’ll be …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Thomas 18

    "or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."

    or maybe they just allow people who would rather not waste 10 minutes being stopped by frivolous police roadblocks.

    I really don't think people get drunk because they know they have an app to dodge police stops so it doesn't "encourage". That only leaves the question "does it enable", maybe but I don't think it's as big an issue as it is a PR drive to make some congressmens' careers.

  2. Alex King
    Thumb Up

    Fair enough really

    If you're speeding you can slow down. If you're drunk you cant un-be-drunk before you get to the roadblock.

    If the roadblocks stop people DUI then they're very far from frivolous.

    1. Jerome 0


      I'm neither a driver nor any great genius, so I may be way off the mark here, but I think the idea is to _avoid_ the checkpoints.

  3. Wize

    Its not just Android...

    ...other phones exist too. Like Symbian on Nokia.

    Oh, wait. Thats dying so no one writes for it anymore.

  4. Select * From Handle

    out with competition.

    give it a month or two and i think apple will release an app thats errrmmm... very similar.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Only The Register...

    ...could put negative spin on this. We get it. You don't like Apple. Move on.

  6. peyton?

    If it's all about safety

    Why are the speed traps always set up in the straightest stretch of road where there are never any accidents?? I'm sure it has nothing to do with budget cuts and revenue.

    Construction zones (where fines are higher) are also a good example. I've seen two scenarios: one with a cruiser parked at the start of the zone with its lights going, one with the cop tucked away inside, hidden behind a barrier. One resulted in the cars slowing down for the entire work zone, the other had drivers slamming their brakes mid-way through.

    It's not always about safety.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      The point being...?

      Thing is, where there is a speed limit, you're supposed to not exceed it, whether there's a cruiser there or not. So anybody who got caught speeding, stop whining. YOU sped. The police did not make you do that. At roadworks, you are supposed to slow down before they begin (that's why they put all those speed limit signs up in front of them...), not when you see a police cruiser.

      And, of course, when you're drunk, you are not supposed to drive at all.

      The point being that the laws about speed limits exist everywhere, not just in front of schools etc. So, again, if you get yourself a ticket speeding on a long straight -- don't blame the police.

      Speaking as somebody who has had to dodge the occasional drunk driver, I approve of anything that gets more of these potential manslaughterers caught, fined and cited. And their licenses suspended.

      Go on, flame me. But don't blame me when you get hit by a drunk, speeding driver afterwards.

  7. fLaMePrOoF
    Thumb Down


    "So in Apple’s world it’s OK to help people avoid getting done for speeding, but not for drink driving."

    This is a completely false assertion; speed traps are there to cause traffic to slow down in risk areas, this is the reason they are generally brightly coloured. Having a device or app which gives early warning of a speed camera ENHANCES their purpose by enabling drivers to check their speed earlier if necesary. That is why such devices and apps are fully supported and endoursed by the authorities, with some police forces even sharing speed camera data with companies like Road Angel so they can send promotional matterial to drivers who have been caught on some temporary cameras(generally on roadworks).

    Drink driving is always wrong and the very purpose of DUI checks is to catch drunk drivers out.

    Apple are inherently and absolutely evil, as we all know, but on this occasion they have gotten it absolutely right and the Reg FAILS with this critical article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Like your trick

      How can Apple be inherently and absolutely evil and still occasionally get it absolutely right?

      Is evil... right? ;-)

      I'll let Paris answer that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      sod the title

      Remember when speed cameras were first introduced over here?

      Grey. All of them, Grey, inconspicuous, behind signs, on bends etc.

      It was only after some uproar that they became yellow, so don't spout that crap about 'speed traps are there to cause traffic to slow down in risk areas, this is the reason they are generally brightly coloured'.

      1. Ted Treen
        Big Brother


        Speed cameras have one, and only one purpose.

        To extract even more cash from drivers.

  8. Jules75

    Only the really stupid....

    .... would drink drive, and you would have to be the worlds biggest idiot to then rely on a app to avoid the police.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Drink drivers

    Should have their cars crushed. Preferably with them still inside.

    In other news, Apple reveals "wrap you in cotton wool" app.

    I wish companies would stop trying to be bloody policemen.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Conversely ...

      ... I wish policemen would stop trying to be bloody companies (see: targets, revenue from speed cameras, ACPO ...)

  10. Tchou

    It's not all about drunk driving

    Maybe some people can have other more serious interest in avoiding police...

    Of course these apps are banned, i would be normal for Android to follow.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    " RIM isn't a locked-down platform...."

    Christ, I haven't laughed that much in years.

    Put it this way, it may not be locked down OOB by them, but once a BES controlled by some psychopathic nazi admin has done its worst, it's the only fucking one out there that you *can't* fucking jailbreak, which gives 'em the lockdown crown in my book.

    I'm sure Apple, MS and the rest of the wingnut control freaks out there would give their collective left nut to find out how RIM do it.

  12. Tom Kelsall

    Drink drive

    I can't understand why apps which warn you of these checkpoints were EVER allowed. I am dead against anyone who chooses to drive having had a drink. To the extent that next time I see them sober I will have words with them and am willing to lose a friendship over it. The shit kills people and wrecks lives; and because of the relaxed muscles of the inebriated it's far less often the drunk who's the worst injured in the accident.

    Shame on El Reg for putting a negative tone on this article...

    1. Quxy

      DUI is apparently like child pornography...

      ...simply repeating the "for the sake of the children" mantra makes almost any political action publicly acceptable.

      In fact, most States that operate DUI sobriety checkpoints legally require that these checkpoints "must be publicly advertised prior to the date of the roadblock and clearly visible to approaching drivers". Courts in California (one of the prime markets for these "drink-driving apps") have established that "with respect to advertising, law enforcement websites, local newspapers, or news stations shall report the upcoming checkpoint about a week prior to its operation".

      The point of the political pressure on Apple is that because these checkpoints are widely used as fishing expeditions for non-DUI offences, the "publicly advertised" requirement is inconvenient for law enforcement organisations and political groups with particular enforcement agendas (e.g. illegal immigration). Painting this as "anti-drink-driving" is simply an effective way to avoid public criticism.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    whats appels problem ??

    I dont git it,m watz wrong wiv usin g ipone when drank?

  14. fifi

    Speed and drink

    You can slow down for a speed trap, you can't sober up for a breathtest

  15. -tim

    Unintended consequences?

    There has been talk here about dropping to .02% so I started looking at the research to see what effects it had. It turns out there is no evidence that going from .05% to .02% reduces accidents at all but there is lots of evidence that shows it increases the number many times over the limits. Doing the .05 to .02 drop also seems to about double the number of binge drinking deaths which tend to outnumber all traffic accidents about 2 to 1 in countries with .05 limits. The most interesting data seems to show an inverse relationship between being able to drive with a beer in your hand and road rage.

  16. Herby Silver badge

    Am I missing something here??

    Don't you need to be somewhat sober to USE the application to find the checkpoint? Can you operate an iPhone when you had a few drinks?

    It seems that one of these field sobriety tests might be "use your iPhone".

    I leave it to others (the Register might step in here with some research!) to do the research on how much alcohol it takes before you are total thumbs in using an iPhone. Say, on a Friday afternoon over at the pub?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019