Found this post on PPRuNe and I thought I'd repost this here. While not a UK citizen this seems like a shocking infringement on personal liberties and has the potential to become a monster. I know the UK has had CCTV in public areas for some time (generally widely popular and successful in cutting down street crime) but I'd like to get your reactions on this issue.
Is this going over the line?
Be aware of the new speed cameras which are in the SE and being erected the complete length of the 'A' and 'M Roads.
They are recognised by a tall blue coloured poles and a small aerial pole next to it. We may have a possible stay of execution, due to the privacy law up-holding these unit for being switched on.
At the moment it is being debated within Parliament. SPEEDCHECK SVVD or SPECS went on-line last week-end on the M1, netting
4,300 offenders in a single day. The system does not use instantaneous speed like the cameras we're all familiar with, instead measuring the average speed of every vehicle over a distance of about a mile. How? By
reading your license plates and matching them up camera -to-camera. Kent and Leicestershire police are so impressed with it that systems are being erected in their enforcement areas too. This is a new system which has now entered service after successful trials on the M1 and M20 in the UK. SPEEDCHECK SVDD (Sure way Video Detection Device) is a system similar in
concept to the GATSO, but with a new twist. SVDD deploys cameras at either end of a measured baseline, (up to 500 metres) to monitor vehicles 24 hours a day. Using machine vision, vehicle number plates are read, and the precise time of each observation recorded and as a vehicle passes the second camera, the number plate records are matched, and an average speed for the vehicle is calculated. If this is above the trigger speed, then the vehicle's identification is recorded along with it's speed. It is also flashed up on a huge illuminated sign further down the road to embarrass the driver into slowing down. When triggered, the detection technology used in these cameras automatically records the date, precise time, location and speed of the offending vehicle, along with a detailed image of the front of the vehicle, which clearly records the number plate, make,
model, who is driving and colour of the vehicle.
There's five overriding reasons for the habitual speeder to be afraid of this system. Or may be there could be the implication of a sixth reason, what if s/he is not your fulltime other half!
1. It works 24 hours a day.
2. Needs no film!
3. Uses no flash!
4. Uses no radar! So, bad luck all those of you who think that radar detectors work.
5. It's been proven to be over 99% accurate in almost all weather conditions.
It doesn't do spot-speed checking. A GATSO can only check the speed of a vehicle within a certain range, so the tactic most drivers use now is to slow down for the camera and then speed up again once past it SPEEDCHECK
measures average speed over a known distance. So if you do 60mph under each camera and then speed up to 80 mph in between, your average speed is likely to be near 70mph - 10 over the limit imposed, you're nicked.SVDD say this means that the system can impose a far smoother flow of traffic eliminating slow-fast driving that the GATSO cameras provoke.
Because it's automated, the system is entirely self-sufficient. It's hooked
up to the DVLA computers, and can automatically process the fines and send
out notices in the post. It's Big Brother. Don't believe for a moment that this technology will only be used to catch speeders. It can be used to keep track of where every single car in the country is at any given moment in time once the network of these things becomes broad enough. Warning to M25 Motorists. If you are a driver then this is important! There are 60 new cameras that start operating on the M25 on Monday 14 June 2001. These are between the A3 and M40. They are digital and linked direct to computer, use no film or flashgun. They can deal with 60,000 tickets EVERY HOUR. The cameras are also (apparently) linked and can workout your average speed between them. So, if you speed up between them and slow down as you approach them, if your average speed is over the "legal limit + No %" threshold you may well get a ticket!