SnapChat is eliminating the “speed filter” that allowed users to capture how fast they are moving and share it with friends, NPR reported.
According to NPR, Snap “has defended the feature in the face of warnings from safety advocates who’ve argued that it encourages reckless driving. The company has also faced lawsuits from the families of those who have been injured or killed in car crashes where drivers were moving at excessive speeds, allegedly to score bragging rights on the app.”
NPR provided some examples of reckless driving while using the speed filter:
A 2015 collision involving the speed filter left a driver in Georgia with permanent brain damage. That same year, the feature was tied to the death of three young women in a Philadelphia car accident. In 2016, five people in Florida died in a high-speed collision that reportedly involved the speed filter. In 2017, three young men in Wisconsin clocked a speed of 123 miles per hour on the feature before they crashed into a tree and died.
A spokeswoman from Snap confirmed to NPR that the speed filter would soon be gone. She said the feature is “barely used by Snapchatters, and in light of that, we are removing it altogether”.
BuzzFeed News reported that Snap has added a “don’t snap and drive” warning while the feature was in use. It also limited the top driving speed that can be shared to 35 mph.
It will take time for the speed filter to be entirely removed from Snap, so the warning and speed limitation are good ways to deter people from using it for reckless driving. Snap is still going to have to face existing lawsuits about the feature.