SafeTrek: the future of safety?

Sometimes, certain situations can get from bad to worse, sometimes even downright destructive, and most people cannot predict if the situation will get to that critical point where you need to call the police. That’s where SafeTrek intends to work on.

SafeTrek is an app for smart phones in which a person can hold down a ‘safety button’ of sorts. You can hold the button down when a situation seems bad. If it takes a turn for the worse, you can immediately let go of the button, and the app will connect you to the police. If everything turns out fine, all you have to do is enter a 4 digit pin. The app requires a monthly fee of $2.99 USD to keep up with the cost of the call center.

This app could serve to be quite helpful if there’s a situation that seems like it could boil over at any second. Domestic abuse comes to mind the most here. Say you, the reader, are a bystander to a fight your neighbors, roommates, friends, etc. are having, but it seems like it’s just some small verbal argument that, albeit loud, seems like it might end peacefully. You wouldn’t want to take any chances with that, as you’ve seen other arguments like this get violent. So what do you do? You simply pull out your phone, open SafeTrek, and hold down the button. That way, if things get out of hand, you have a quick line for help to get the argument settled, without causing commotion or physical harm. Simple, right?

Although this app sounds useful in practice, it might not hold up in the real world. An anonymous survey was conducted here at the high school. It consisted of 32 students, each from varying grade levels, and it yielded some very interesting results to say the least.

According to the survey, 75 percent of the students said the app is interesting and would be a helpful service, but a 90 percent of them said they would not download the app. Nearly the same 90 percent had put that the monthly fee had turned them off from downloading the app in the first place.

One of the most common complaints people had with the app was that it was more cost-effective and practical if, instead of using the app, people just call the police instead. The responses in the ‘additional comments’ section people left were all pretty much the same: “Paying for an emergency call seems kinda dumb, but it’s a good idea for free users,” “Isn’t it easier to call 911? I understand the discretion that is being provided from the app but it seems like it would not be used enough to be worth it,” or just simply put, “You could just call the police.”

It seems most people would download the app if it were offered as a free service, but right now, the $3 monthly fee is just too much of a nuisance to be helpful. Especially when it’s compared to how many times you would actually use the app, it seems like this service is for a different time. As for now, though, it seems this app is most likely going to stay dormant in the appstore.