3/7/2006UK: Camera Tickets Expand to Seat Belts, Phones
UK proposal uses eight thousand Automated Number Plate Recognition cameras to issue cell phone and seat belt tickets.
UK officials are expected tomorrow to introduce legislation in parliament that will allow an expansion of the country's camera surveillance network to include automated ticketing of drivers holding cell phones or choosing not to wear a seat belt. Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, is spearheading the effort. He told the Guardian newspaper that Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) use for such purposes is for "the greater good of society" with only "a slight reduction of our liberty."
"Ministers and senior civil servants are largely being persuaded that technological interventions are a good idea by those with a vested interest in the technology," said Paul Smith of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "The sums involved are huge."
A proposed network of 8000 ANPR cameras would issue seat belt tickets to accompany the 6000 cameras currently issuing more than two million £60 (US $100) red light and speed camera tickets a year. A 2004 test of the ANPR system generated 51,000 tickets for offenses including the use of cell phones.