Frequently Asked Questions

SAFETY

Isn't it dangerous to take photos or videos when driving?

Yes, so don't do it.  Only use these features in our app when you're not driving or a fellow passenger in the car can do it. 

Is it safe to operate Road Hero while driving?

Road Hero was designed for hands-free use. In fact, flagging a vehicle requires less interaction than dialing a phone number. After reporting a vehicle by speaking in the license plate, you can enter all other details at a later time when you are not driving. In general we always recommend pulling over safely before interacting with your phone (even if your local laws allow for emails and text messages while driving).

Doesn’t Road Hero add to the problem of distracted driving?

A single-touch (to launch the App) followed by speaking in the license plate (i.e. voice-driven) is easier than changing the channel on your car radio or operating other in-vehicle interactive or communication systems. Our hope is that Road Hero will allow every day motorists to help the fight against bad or aggressive driving. A honk of your horn is just not enough. Similar to signs “Dial 911 to report drunk drivers” we expect a net positive return on the effort, and make our roads generally safer.

A license plate is hard to read. Why not allow us to take pictures?

Taking pictures while driving is difficult, requires proximity to the other vehicle, and is therefore dangerous (take our word for it, don’t even try for yourself). In the future, we will allow you take pictures of the offending vehicles … but you should only do this when you are not driving.

Does it works for buses, motorbikes and trucks?

Yes, yes and yes. As long as it has a license plate.

Can I flag a vehicle driver while riding my bike or when walking?

Absolutely. Did a driver cut you off on your bike? Get their license plate and report them. Did a hunk slam the brakes so you could safely cross the street? Give him that cute rating he deserves.

DATA USAGE and PRIVACY

Which personally identifiable information does Road Hero use?

You are not required to provide personally identifiable information (such as your name or address) to use Road Hero. The service only relies on publicly displayed vehicle license plates. To use some features, you may need to register and provide personally identifiable information, but that information will not be revealed to other users of the Road Hero service unless you instruct us to do so. Most importantly, if you flag a bad driver, we will never reveal your identity. Your personal information submitted during registration will only be used by us to improve your experience with Road Hero (such as receiving alerts) and as specifically provided in our privacy policy, available here.

What do you do with the data collected?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving behavior is responsible for half of all car accidents in the US. Road aggression remains unchecked largely due to driver anonymity, i.e. the belief that it’s OK to drive badly since nobody will know who you are. Our goal is to lift this veil of anonymity and provide bad drivers with feedback. As such, Road Hero is a fully open and searchable database, accessible by anyone who cares about road safety.

If I flag somebody, will they know who I am?

We don’t share your identity when you post a bad flag. For good flags, we allow you (but you are not obliged) to share portions of your registration information (such as your profile picture or email address) with that person.

What if somebody else drives my car? Isn’t there a difference between a driver and a car (or its license plate)?

People within the same household will share the same car(s) and as such, there can be a difference between car and driver. However, most vehicles are driven by one principal owner and in the rare occasion that is not the case, wouldn’t you want to know who’s driving your car like a maniac?

Why should I register?

There are many benefits to registering. You will have the ability to listen to the “Good” messages that people have left you, connect with “Good” drivers, and receive alerts when somebody has flagged you. You will also be able to monitor your own driving record or even that of others (such as your spouse or kids) by using the “Follow” feature.

If I don't register, then others can't flag me right? 

Err no.  Anybody, registered or not, can be flagged by others as either a bad or a good driver. Registration itself is optional and allows you to take advantage of certain additional features, such as listening to your Good messages and receiving real-time alerts.  

I just got flagged.  Will this affect my car insurance?

Here’s how it works.  Car insurers can only use very specific and legally approved data to calculate your premium.  Examples of this include your mileage, age, marital status, etc.  When your policy is up for renewal, they conduct a quick investigation to see if they should re-rate you.  If you haven't behaved well (e.g. you landed a speeding ticket on your DMV record), expect the premium to go up.  In the same way that insurance companies use DMV or CARFAX records, they could use Road Hero. The difference, however, is that our flags are not used to set premiums.  We merely point out the potentially dangerous drivers on the road. In plain English: today, Road Hero will not impact your insurance. Last but not least: flagging somebody else is fully anonymous. 

MESSAGES and CONTACTING OTHER DRIVERS

How can I get in touch with a person I saw on the road?

Be quick! Flag them as Good, give him or her a five-heart rating, leave a sweet audio message that will put Romeo to shame, and request to be connected. If you’re lucky, Juliet may just get in touch with you. Adding a picture to your profile and a clean Road Hero driving record can’t hurt your cause.

Can anybody listen to the good messages I leave for a vehicle?

Good messages are only sent to the person who was flagged. Only he or she can pick up these messages when registering his/her license plate.

What if I want to change or delete the voice message I left for the driver?

This is currently not possible but we may add this in the future. Let us know if you think this is an important feature by sending us an email info@roadhero.org.

WRONG FLAGS or ABUSE

I flagged someone but Road Hero removed it. Why is that?

Our systems continuously check to ensure that all flags were reported honestly and not by mistake. If we find suspicious flags, we may choose to delete the flag. We’re not always going to get it right (and sorry if we didn’t), but think of it as a cop letting a speedster drive away scot-free … that one time.

Somebody else flagged me, but it shows as grayed out on My Record.

Flags that appear erroneous or outright malicious (e.g. the same person repeatedly flagging you) are automatically removed. Whilst they may still show in your record, they are inactive and do not count towards your driving record.

I got a random flag in Northern California when I signed up.

Ah .. right. Well, when you register and join Road Hero in the effort to make our roads safer, we start you of with a Good welcome flag. We think you deserved it.

What can I do if somebody maliciously or erroneously reports bad flags against me?

Our systems carefully monitor activity across the service and will automatically take down flags that appear erroneous or outright malicious (e.g. the same person repeatedly flagging the same vehicle). However, if you still think that you have been (repeatedly) flagged incorrectly, contact us to look into the matter. If we find evidence that proves your point, we will gladly remove those flags (and vice versa).

Why doesn’t the plate shown in the App match the one I saw on the vehicle?

We may have transcribed your voice incorrectly. If that’s the case, tap the license plate and edit the characters manually. We are always striving to improve our voice recognition!

What if somebody accidentally misreads my license plate?

We will soon match your license plate against the vehicle description (e.g. Honda Accord). This will allow the person who flagged you to verify his or her submission to begin with. If you still think there was a mistake, contact us via email info@roadhero.org.

Can I register someone else’s license plate?

We operate on the honor system. We trust that our users will not claim somebody else’s vehicle or license plate, similar to not registering for a new email address like barackobama@gmail.com or oprahwinfrey@yahoo.com. Got it? If someone else has registered using your vehicle license plate, we will ask you to prove yourself as the real owner by submitting your VIN number. We do understand that you may change your vehicle and will so reasonably accept the occasional change.

Can I delete a flag?

Just to go My Flags and right swipe to delete. If you only need to make a minor correction (e.g. wrong letter in the plate), simply tap the plate and manually edit it.

What if we got the plate right, but the state wrong?

No biggie. Simple tap the plate to edit it, and correct the state.

Are the tickets that I write real? Do the police receive a copy?

Our tickets are (unfortunately) not real, at least not in the US. In Delhi, the police have issued real citations based on what citizens have reported on the road through Facebook .

Can anyone see my flag history?

No. Your flagging activity is only available on your personal device on which the Road Hero App is installed.

Why was my account deleted?

We continuously monitor dishonest use of Road Hero, such as falsely reporting other drivers or registering someone else’s license plate. If we identify what we think is misuse, we will promptly remove you from our service and the Road Hero community. No exceptions. Your friends may stop calling you, too.

Why was my flag not processed?

Some of the license plate utterances we receive are simply impossible to decipher, even not by human beings (e.g. bad cell phone coverage, spontaneous swearing in an obscure foreign language, etc.). We will process the flag as “TAP2EDT”, inviting you to listen to your own voice and entering it manually on the phone. If you still can’t understand what you submitted to Road Hero, we will give you the option to permanently delete the flag. Neat, eh?

ALL OTHER

Where can I see the videos captured by other users?

We have them all on our YouTube page http://youtube.com/roadhero. Keep in mind that we carefully screen each video, so it may take a few days before it’s available to the public.

How did you come up with the idea?

Frustration with bad or aggressive drivers is a common experience and daily topic of conversation, yet without a good solution. This is what we’re trying to fix. Our long-term goal is to reduce the number of accidents and casualties caused by aggressive or bad driving. Of course, we know many of you have come across that dream heartthrob while on the road (60% of Americans say they have!) so we also allow you to send them a sweet message! Copious amounts of tequila were involved when coming up with this idea.

How do I delete my account?

We’re sad to see you go and would like to hear what made you this unhappy. You can always unregister from Road Hero in the settings section of the App. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get flagged anymore by fellow motorists (whether you’re a bad or good driver).

Do you have an Android or Blackberry version?

We are working on Android and will release early 2012. No plans for BB or Windows Mobile just yet.

How can I work with Road Hero?

Shoot us an email info@roadhero.org and tell us what you have in mind. Nothing is too crazy and we’d love to hear it.

What do I do if I have more than one vehicle? Can I register multiple license plates?

Not yet. Hold tight. PS: you can always register one vehicle and then follow the other one.

What if the license plate has special symbols in it?

Just speak in the license plate as if there were no special symbols in it.

Can I listen to my own recording of the license plate?

Of course. Select your flag (from My Flags), then tap the plate to edit, and click the play button. You can even edit the plate right there and then (just in case we got it wrong).

I don’t have an iPhone (or other smartphone). How can I see my driving record?

Transparency is key in driver education. To that extent, in the future we will allow anyone to look up his or her record online. Unlike the DMV or credit scoring companies, we will provide this service for free and instantaneous.

I lost / replaced my phone and now Road Hero doesn’t fully re-install.

We’re glad to hear that you care! We don’t have the necessary nifty account features yet that will enable you to fix this yourself. If you send us your iPhone UDID (whhaaaat..?) we will manually put you back on track. Pardon our dust.

My vehicle was stolen. Can Road Hero help me find it?

Yes, we work with a private company called www.StolenCarReports.com. They have been successful in recovering vehicles in the past and we recommend that you submit your vehicle details to them (for a small fee). If your vehicle is flagged by another Road Hero user (or anybody in their larger network), they will get directly in touch with you. The person flagging your car will even get a reward if the information leads to the recovery of your vehicle. But first, contact the police and your insurance company.