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8/6/2006
UK Developing Tailgating Ticket Cameras
UK officials are deploying cameras that will eventually ticket motorists when the machine thinks they might be tailgating.

Tailgating
This month the UK Department for Transport will deploy automated cameras designed to identify and eventually ticket a vehicle if the machine believes it is "too close" to another car. The first pilot program is underway on the A34 in Oxfordshire

"If it is effective then it will be rolled out to other areas, including motorways," Highways Agency spokesman Roger Jones told the London Times." There might be other things to follow, such as using the technology to aid police with prosecutions."

The system uses video cameras attached to an overpass to scan highway traffic. Image recognition software then estimates how close vehicles are to one another. During the testing phase, the device will only flash the alleged offenders license plate number of suspected tailgaters on an electronic message board.

Once the system is ready for ticketing, officials will need to tackle the problem that UK law currently does not have a specific tailgating offense. If no changes are made to the law, motorists could be ticketed by the device for "driving without due care and attention," which carries a fine of up to £2500 (US $4725).

Source: On the tail of the tailgater (London Times (UK), 8/6/2006)

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