PLACER COUNTY --
No one likes to sit in traffic. Whether it's for just a few minutes, or an hour in gridlock.
More and more, drivers are taking to their smart phones for ways to avoid delays. The Waze app has been doing that for some time now, assisting some 50 million smart phone users. And now, it seems that more and more police are embracing the idea as well.
"The information it can pass on could be beneficial to the driver, and to be utilized for law enforcement purposes as far as notifying drivers in the area there is a traffic collision up ahead or there is activity up ahead, and getting them to divert themselves around the activity instead of us diverting them," noted Auburn's Director of Public Safety John Ruffcorn.
Ruffcorn first started using the app over the holidays and decided it could be put to good use around his community.
Same thing in Rocklin.
"If somebody is going to take an alternative route, around an accident or an intersection that is really clogged up, that only helps us as well as getting traffic through our city," noted Lt. Scott Horrillo who is the manager of the city's traffic unit for the Rocklin Police Department.
Both cities, Rocklin and Auburn, have come to embrace the Waze app.
But it wasn't too long ago that many in law enforcement took issue with the app's ability to track their officers movements.
"I understand there are some dangers, but there are dangers with a lot of different social media where they can track our activities or they can let people know," said Ruffcorn. "If there are people who want to cause harm, whether its to law enforcement or other people in the community, they're going to use other social media to get that done."
In addition to alerts, Waze users can also take photos or video of a scene. However, some have wondered too that all that sharing of information with other drivers could end up limiting the enforcement part of law enforcement.
"I want people to know and get the word out that..hey, stop running this red light or..stop speeding on this particular street," Ruffcorn explained. "Again, that's influencing social media. Knowing that I can't control it, but hopefully influencing the outcome."
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is their reminder to drivers to always pull to the side of the road, in a safe location, when sharing information through your smart phone.