A new traffic camera is beginning to appear on the Britain’s streets – you have been warned!
The £17,000 night-vision devices have a battery of lenses and can catch up to 50 times more law-breaking drivers than previous models.
In a fresh crackdown on motorists, council chiefs in Manchester have installed 15 of these new devices on the city’s streets – with a promise of more to follow.
The camera’s official name is the ZenGrab LaneWatch Mk2 and they have been strategically placed on some of the busiest routes around the town in an attempt to capture drivers who may have previously evaded the law.
This new camera is an addition to the traffic light, bus lane and speed cameras which are already in use across the country.
During trials in London the camera, which is not required to display warning signs, spotted 1,076 contraventions over a four week period.
Footage is transmitted by 3G to council offices in less than a minute and then it is up to officials to decide whether to issue a £60 penalty charge.
The cameras have been used in London but Manchester is the first city outside of the capital to use them in such numbers – with many more councils showing an interest in the device.
Currently, such cameras are only used to catch motorists illegally entering bus lanes, but the very same images could soon be used by local authorities to punish drivers for making illegal U-turns or passing “No Entry” signs.
To date, speeding fines are now collected by local councils and money raised goes directly to the treasury. The proposed change to allow town halls to pocket revenue will ultimately lead to some critics claiming that the new cameras will be used to raise funds for councils rather than making the roads safer.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester council’s executive member for the environment, described the cameras as an ‘investment’. He said: “We are now able to monitor up to 15 bus lanes at the same time enabling officers to undertake other duties and ultimately saving the council money.”
But Eleanor McGrath, from the Tax Payers’ Alliance, said: “Manchester council is confirming what many drivers already think, that these cameras are more about raising money than keeping roads safe.
“Motorists, already stung for large amounts in fuel duty and road tax, cannot be blamed for feeling that they are being targeted as cash cows.”
This piece was composed by Matt Crist, a UK writer who specialises in motoring defence, motorcycles and the law, transportation and other assorted topics; to learn more about speeding offences visit motoringdefencelawyers.co.uk