A speed camera that can tell whether a driver is wearing a seatbelt, tailgating, speeding and whether the vehicle is untaxed or uninsured could be operating in the UK by 2013.
The Asset camera differs from the traditional stationary yellow box camera in that it can be mobile if it is attached to a trailer or police car, although its size and weight mean it is not easy to move around.
The camera can see inside vehicles, and in addition to clocking how fast motorists are driving, it can measure the distance between cars to see whether a driver is tailgating. It also automatically reads number plates to see whether the vehicle is taxed and insured.
The device is currently undergoing trials and assuming it passes these hurdles, is expected to cost £50,000 per unit.
Campaign group speedcameras.org said: "We cautiously welcome a device that can detect several potential motoring offences, but it remains to be seen how accurate it is and how fairly it will be used.
"It's a pity that the main actions that cause the most accidents, namely not paying attention to the road, misjudging distances and other drivers' intentions, cannot be detected by a device of any sort. More police patrols and better driver education are the only ways to reduce accidents."
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