Tom asked: “I’m not one to usually subscribe to conspiracy theories – but my sisters generously gave me a Garmin Nuvi 1300 several years ago. This GPS does not include speed limits for the road you are on. Fast forward to 2016, and I bought a car with a built-in GPS that also does not have speed limits. The conspiracy theory is – are they leaving this out so the cops can pull you over more often and make more money?”
Tom, it’s not a big conspiracy by law enforcement, given that you can just open Waze and get that information on your phone without paying for a standalone device, or even the cost of an app.
If anything, it’s a strategy by the GPS manufacturers to differentiate units.
For example, if you pay for nüvi 57LM, it will offer speed limit warnings, but it actually costs less than the 1300 you have. It just offers a different feature set.
GPS devices on cars are the same, different ones offer different features. Typically, manufacturers don’t like to add speed limits to units that cannot be easily updated, as its often the case with cars. Speed limits can change, and even if they don’t, mistakes are sometimes made and need to be corrected.
As for the cops causing it: No, they don’t control GPS manufacturers, and this happens worldwide, there’s no big secret society of cops pulling the strings so that a city somewhere can get a few extra dollars in tickets. If that was the case, they’d probably push for fewer signs posting the speed limit too.
Also, some car brands such as Volvo and Audi offer driver aids that include the display of the current speed limit on the car’s dashboard. And as we previously noted, the Waze smartphone app displays the current speed limit and will give you a visual indication when you exceed it.