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    Mail (UK): Speed Camera Checks Insurance, Tax and Seat Belt Use

    The Mail in the UK reports on a new type of speed camera:

    Even the most law-abiding driver might feel a shiver down the spine when spotting this speed camera at the roadside.

    For as well as detecting speeding, it is packed with gizmos that check number plates to make sure insurance and tax are up to date. It also measures the distance between vehicles to spot tailgating and takes pictures of the inside of the car – to make sure you are wearing a seat belt. […]

    It is the first to detect multiple offences at the same time and is connected to police computers via satellite, so that prosecutions can be started within seconds of any offence.

    Development of the system, known as Asset – Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport – is being funded with around £7million of European money.

    It is undergoing testing [by the VTT Technical Research Centre] in Finland and is expected to be deployed across Europe from 2013, with each unit costing £50,000. […]

    The ‘Big Brother’-style set-up takes various pictures before filing details back to a central database via a GPS system. The equipment automatically destroys images over a month old and those in which no traffic violation is evident.

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