Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office debuts new traffic app

By Laurie Davison, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said it's focusing on getting more information out more quickly.

On Thursday morning, a combination of smoke and fog caused the sheriff's office to close down a portion of County Road 672 in Wimauma for several hours.

"We have all these children and parents waiting at school bus stops, waiting for school buses and the school buses couldn't get to the children and they're wondering what's going on," said Major Chad Chronister.

Chronister said it's exactly the type of situation where a new app, called Audio Traffic Hillsborough, comes in handy.

"What a great tool and it was used today for them to be able to hit a button and realize this is what's going on," said Chronister. "The buses are coming, they're just running late because of some detours."

The company, Audible Media Group, is providing the app free to the sheriff's office and the public.

Once you download the app to your smart phone, it provides up-to-the-minute information on road hazards along with crime and safety bulletins.

"Whether it's a missing child, a bank robbery in progress, you name it," said Jeff Kottkamp of Audible Media. "Whatever the sheriff's office thinks is important for the citizens to know about to increase their safety, that's going to be pushed out." 

Officials said the real beauty of the app is that it's voice-activated and all the bulletins are read out loud.

"You press a button and the rest of it you hear by voice which means there's not one more thing in the car that contributes to distracted driving, "said Major Chronister.

The app can be downloaded through iTunes and Google Play by searching for Audio Traffic Hillsborough.

Audible Media Group said Pinellas County will be getting a similar app after the first of the year.