App for that: Red light cameras -

App for that: Red light cameras

If you're trying to avoid a traffic ticket, there's an app for that.  Mobile phone technology is helping drivers beat red light and speeding cameras.

Some motorists have called the high-tech cameras a "cash cow" for the city, others firmly believe they help make roads safer.

New cell phone apps are giving motorists an edge on these cameras by helping track their locations.

Tucson Police Sgt. Timothy Beam says the goal of the red light and speed cameras is simple. "We want to get traffic across town as safely and expeditiously as possible," he says.

Now in a battle pitting technology against technology, there is an eye in the sky, watching the eyes on the street.

Satellites can help drivers spot red light cameras, speed traps, and DUI check points right before you get to them.

Can your smart phone now out-smart the bright flash of these lenses?

We put the Phantom Alert app to the test, and sure enough, right as we approached a known red light camera intersection in the city, the app alerted us to slow down.

It did the same thing for a speed camera.

The notice came right as we drove up to the intersection, so a few more seconds earlier would have been more helpful.

The technology relies on users to input red light camera, speed camera and radar van locations, so it only identifies those locations that have been flagged by previous users.

So far, police do not seem to have a problem with the smart phone technology. 

"If it slows somebody down, or makes somebody think twice about whether or not they're going to go through a red light, we've accomplished our mission," says Sgt. Beam.

What did concern police though, was drivers constantly look down at the app while driving.  Police said distracted drivers lead to most of the traffic collisions that happen on the roads.

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