Long-range camera takes aim at dangerous drivers

Long-range camera takes aim at dangerous drivers
Police have a new weapon in the fight against reckless driving — a mobile camera that can catch offenders from up to a kilometre away.

Dangerous or illegal activity behind the wheel — including tailgating and mobile phone use — can now be snapped before a driver has even had chance to see the camera.

Unlike traditional speed guns, which only measure how fast cars are travelling, the new camera produces clear, high-quality video footage and photographs of vehicles and their occupants’ behaviour.

 

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PC Sean Graham with the new long-range camera (Source: Rob Jenkins)

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Gloucestershire Police unveiled the new camera as part of Operation Indemis, a collaborative approach to policing the region’s busiest routes, including the M4 and M5.

Officers say one of the aims is to educate motorists about the importance of driving safely on the roads, with some drivers offered advice on how to improve under the initiative.

READ MORE: Traffic cameras — what you need to know

However, anyone caught committing offences faces prosecution, including those engaged in tailgating, speeding, driving without a seatbelt or using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel.

Earlier this year, Highways England launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of tailgating after figures revealed that one in eight road casualties are caused by tailgating.

Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, thinks the camera represents a new way of policing the UK’s roads and hopes it will help change behaviours.

SEE ALSO: Mobile phone driving laws — your questions answered

He said: “Many people have come to me with their concerns about speeding and other safety issues along this road. We now have a chance to test a new model of collaborative road policing which, if it proves a success, can be put into practice elsewhere.

“The aim is not just to penalise motorists but to uphold the law by creating a change in people’s behaviour. But the police will enforce the law when necessary.”

If the scheme is a success, Gloucestershire Police says it will look to work with other agencies, including the Motor Insurer’s Bureau and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to explore how the technology could make UK roads safer.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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