Located in the appropriate areas, I’m all for speed cameras. But is a new camera that can catch us committing up to five different offences a step too far into monitoring our motoring activities?
Speed cameras may be the biggest gripe for UK road users (and we’ve certainly seen that in our speed cameras Convo) but the fact is they can make a high-casualty location safer.
But I find it strange that following speculation around whether speed cameras are being switched off due to budget cut backs, that we’re now talking about a new ludicrously expensive ‘super camera’.
Does it devalue the role of a traffic officer?
The new camera system (Project Asset) not only checks your speed, it can also determine your distance from the vehicle in front, read your number plate to see if you’re insured, check if your tax has expired and even tell if you’re wearing a seatbelt or not.
In theory, I agree that new measures need to be taken to reduce the number of uninsured and untaxed drivers on the road. But what about the majority of us who do pay our forever-rising insurance, tax our cars and drive within the boundaries of the law? Why should we be judged?
The biggest issue for me is that this machine could takeover the role of the traffic officer. If these £50k cameras (money which could be better spent fixing our roads) do get rolled out across the country, will we see a decline in road cops?
What will happen to the human element of policing our roads? If a traffic officer spots someone tailgating, they can pull them over before they cause an accident. If a camera sees the same, it’ll issue them with a ticket weeks later. That’s not making our roads safer.
What else is the Asset camera capable of?
I’m also conscious of what else this so-called ‘super camera’ is capable of. If it can check to see if I’m wearing my seatbelt or not, what else will it know about me? I hope it doesn’t pass judgement on my dress sense or catch me singing along to Lionel Richie!
But in all seriousness, if it can determine whether I’ve belted up or not, it will no doubt be able to see who else and what else is in my car.
I’m not a massive fan of the overused phrase “Big Brother is watching you”, but I can’t think of any other way to describe this technology. Am I being over-paranoid, or should this speed camera take the high road?