4/3/2006UAE: Black Box Speeding Tickets Become Reality
The United Arab Emirates government will monitor, track, tax and ticket every driver with a mandatory black box.
Officials are ready to roll out a black box spy system that allows satellites to track each and every driver in the UAE and automatically issue speeding and other tickets for the slightest transgression. The first 10,000 black boxes will be installed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with 700,000 installed by 2009. IBM signed a $125 million contract for the system last April.
The GPS-enabled "Smart Box" will also be used to tax drivers for every mile driven and will be rolled out as car registrations are renewed. The device provides a voice warning if the driver exceeds the local speed limit for wherever he may be driving. If the voice warning is ignored, the system would use a GSM/GPRS link to beam the car's speed, identity and location to the police so that a ticket can be issued. The system would also track and monitor any other driving violations, including "reckless behavior."
Motoring fines in the Gulf are notoriously harsh, with the maximum penalty for red light running set at six months in prison and a 3,000 dirhams fine ($816 US) along with seizure of the vehicle on the first offense. Last month, 94 individuals were arrested for "illegal car washing."