Israeli app rats out dangerous drivers

Smartphone app lets law-abiding drivers take revenge on those breaking the rules.

Israeli startup Nirsham has developed an application for mobile smartphones to document and monitor driving. The app, which is based on cutting-edge technology, is meant to educate the public to drive more safely and to help monitor and eradicate inappropriate road behavior.

Road bullying? Traffic violations? Accidents? It’s as easy as the push of a button to report and photograph the offense on site.

The app has a designated camera that can work in two modes, “pedestrian” or “driver.” When in pedestrian mode, the user needs to press and hold down the shutter button, which will produce a continuous series of photographs of the incident until it is over. As a driver, so long as the phone is in its cradle near the car windshield, a push of a button will capture whatever’s going on on the road. 

Founders of the company, brothers Shlomo and Elazar Goldman, say this option is safer than having to actively respond to a sticker on another car that says, “How am I driving?” in which case the driver has to punch in the number on the sticker.

The photographs will be posted for public viewing for a week on the company website. Surfers will be asked to vote on whether the images attest to inappropriate driving (or not). If the surfers vote that the incident in question warrants further attention, a representative of Nirsham will take the matter up with a third party to address the case individually. Users whose photographs are turned over to a third party will win points on Nirsham’s website.

“The app,” says Shlomo Goldman, “is geared for every citizen who cares and who wants to increase road safety for him or herself and everyone else. The fact that our app provides visual documentation allows for the incident to be pursued by a third party and enables broad-scale enforcement, anywhere and at any time, complete with unimpeachable evidence. If drivers know that at any given moment they might be documented, they are more likely to refrain from committing a traffic violation.”

The app will also help fleet managers achieve better control and supervision over the vehicles under their responsibility.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.