Mobile camera targets school run

The school run could become an extremely expensive trip for parents in one town after a council announced plans for a mobile camera to catch drivers parking illegally outside schools.

The £100,000 Roadflow device will be placed on top of a traffic warden's car and is aimed at stopping parents parking on yellow lines outside the 80 schools in Bedford Borough Council's area.

Drivers will receive £60 fines - and risk a rise in theircar insurance premiums - if they are caught by the "innovative" device, which eliminates the need for the traffic warden to stop and put tickets on car windscreens.

The camera reportedly costs £67,000, with £16,000 for the software and £15,000 for warning signs, but it is expected that it will generate enough cash to cover its £42,000 annual running costs and make a profit.

The council says it is introducing the camera after several children were hurt in accidents outside its schools last year, and added that it will also be used to monitor parking in loading bays and bus lanes.

But Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch, which campaigns against abuse of civil liberties, said: "Drivers in Bedford are being remorselessly bullied by their council. Councils ought to use this kind of money to chase proper criminals instead of parents doing the school run."

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