“Scariest speed camera of all… It checks your insurance, tax and even whether you are tailgating or not wearing a seatbelt”
“Even the most law-abiding driver might feel a shiver down the spine when spotting this speed camera at the roadside.” 

For as well as detecting speeding, it is packed with gizmos that check number plates to make sure insurance and tax are up to date. It also measures the distance between vehicles to spot tailgating and takes pictures of the inside of the car – to make sure you are wearing a seat belt. The latest weapon in speed camera technology can capture footage from 150ft away. It is the first to detect multiple offences at the same time and is connected to police computers via satellite, so that prosecutions can be started within seconds of any offense. Development of the system, known as Asset – Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport – is being funded with around £7million of European money. It is undergoing testing in Finland and is expected to be deployed across Europe from 2013, with each unit costing £50,000. Motoring organisations gave it a mixed reception. AA president Edmund King said: ‘Tailgating is more dangerous in most cases than speeding so I think most motorists would welcome it.

‘But it needs to be a safety measure, not a money-making machine.’

Campaign group Speed Cameras Dot Org said the device should not become a replacement for traffic police. The Asset camera is being tested by the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland. It is currently mounted on a trailer but it is eventually expected to be converted to fit inside police vehicles.

Matti Kutila, senior research scientist at VTT, said: ‘The main intention is to support traffic police so that drivers follow traffic rules such as wearing seat belts, keep to the speed limit and maintain sufficient distance to the vehicle in front.

Yesterday it emerged that the police and council were nearing a deal to turn all the cameras back on”

By Luke Salkeld 3rd November 2010

 

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