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New iPhone App Singles Out Bad Drivers

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Imagine having the power to flag down bad drivers or to write traffic tickets or just call people out for changing lanes without a signal.

A new app called ‘Drive Me Crazy’ is now available for the iPhone, and it gives drivers the power to scrutinize those who don’t responsibly use the road.

“I’d love it, if only there were more reality police out there,” said Jamie Zaunbrecher, a Dallas driver. “People are cutting people off and acting like idiots.”

Using the app, a driver can voice-record the license plate of a bad driver. The app then uses GPS to pinpoint the person’s position.

From there, app users have a choice: Vent by recording a voice message detailing exactly what the driver in question did wrong, or write up their own mock ticket.

“This driver literally ran through a four-way stop while I’m trying to wait for my son to get off the bus from school,” voiced one driver using the app. “This is utterly ridiculous how people just don’t care.”

“When you’re driving 40 in a 25 mile per hour speed zone and you almost hit someone, then I suggest you learn how to drive,” another frustrated driver said.

People who report bad drivers remain anonymous. Drivers who are flagged, however, are open to public scrutiny. App users can pull up a license plate anywhere in the U.S. to see how many times that driver has been reported.

Philip Inghelbrecht, CEO of San Francisco-based Drive Me Crazy, said he feels the app can help everyone become better drivers while allowing others to let off some steam.

Inghelbrect said in a few months, even those without the app will be able to search license plates using basic search engines to see who’s racking up complaints.

Legally, there’s not much a bad driver can do once they’re flagged. License plates are visible in public, so they’re fair game. And as Dallas Internet attorney Peter Vogel notes, removing a report from the Internet is extremely difficult.

“Over time, the courts are saying, if there’s a grain of truth to it, then they probably can post it. So, it’s not so easy to get rid of it,” Vogel said.

While tickets and verbal rants are available to the public, the information is useless to insurance companies and law enforcement agencies.

“If you got a grudge against someone; a neighbor, an ex-friend, an ex-wife or husband,” said Sr. Sgt. Don Peritz with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Dept. “The ability to abuse this is just off the chart and therefore it’s difficult for us to even consider looking at some type of enforcement action.”

There is some irony to the Drive Me Crazy app, though: It encourages drivers to file reports while behind the wheel.

“You’re forcing people to use their phones while their driving, so the juice might not be worth the squeeze,” said Austin Ortiz, another Dallas driver.

The app can be used as a social networking tool, as well. Users can flag good drivers for being courteous, even for being attractive.

Flirts, however, are only available to the driver it’s meant for and are not open to the public or other users of the app.

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