HomeCrimeUFPD pilots new mobile app that aims to deescalate tensions during traffic stops
UFPD pilots new mobile app that aims to deescalate tensions during traffic stops
August 8, 2023
Press release from University of Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida released a mobile application that allows police officers to communicate with drivers through their smartphones before physically approaching a vehicle. The free app is called Virtual Traffic Stop or VTS, and it is aimed at easing tensions and preventing misunderstandings during traffic stops between drivers and law enforcement.
The goal is to reduce anxiety caused by the stop through the initial video interaction, making the interaction safer for all. The app also lets the driver bring a third party into the interaction — for instance, the parent of a minor or an advocate for someone in need of one. UF Police Department (UFPD) is leading the pilot initiative of this rollout, and the app’s website states that Gainesville Police Department is also using the app.
“VTS empowers drivers and law enforcement to navigate traffic stops with ease and confidence by serving as an ice breaker that fosters an open dialogue between all involved,” said Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., a UF computer science professor who led the development of this app with a team of students. The app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.
The app can be downloaded at these links, and more information is available here: