6/7/2006Gatso Updates Speed Camera Technology
The leading speed camera maker quadruples the number of tickets that can be issued simultaneously.
Jurisdictions looking to quadruple the number of automated speeding tickets issued are gearing up to deploy a new device manufactured by the Dutch speed camera maker Gatsometer BV. The standard "Gatso" ticket machine uses a single camera and is the most common device used in the UK and cities like Washington, DC. The company has now introduced its "Multi-Camera System" (MCS) that uses four cameras installed in one box able to issue four tickets simultaneously for a number of offenses across multiple lanes of traffic.
In addition to the speeding ticket feature, the MCS can also be placed at an intersection to ticket motorists who enter an intersection a split-second after the light turns red as well as issue a ticket to someone driving under a railroad crossing barrier that is lowering.
The camera stores up to 60,000 ticket images on a "tamper-proof" internal harddrive and offers infrared photography so that motorists won't know they received a ticket until it arrives weeks later in the mail. Already, UK officials are expected to deploy the device after type approval, using the multiple camera setup to photograph both the front and rear of vehicles to help prevent court challenges to tickets. The device will be used on a spiked pole to deter vigilantes who have set fire to hundreds of British ticket cameras.
Road safety expert Paul Smith, founder of Safe Speed, was unimpressed with the new device.
"No amount of technology will stop speed cameras from being a dangerous road safety red herring," Smith said. "It's really important that no one drives too fast -- but neither speed cameras nor speed limits can tell us what too fast is. 'Too fast' depends on the conditions and speed limits and cameras know nothing about the conditions."