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They came from out of space

If you drive regularly around certain locations, you are probably aware where the fixed speed cameras are located and also where the mobile ones are often situated. For those going off their usual turf, there are various systems you can employ, quite legally, to notify you of speed cameras operating on your route.

However, we are now getting very 'Star Wars' (or 'Thunderbirds' – depends on your age group!) because unless you can dial into NASA you may not know that your speed is being monitored. New hi-tech camera devices linked to each other and drawing on satellite technology to track average speed over long distances are reported to have been trialled in the UK.

Known as the SpeedSpike, the cameras combine number plate recognition (ANPR) with global positioning systems (GPS) – and so can monitor thousands of vehicles at the same time! Cameras can 'talk' to each other and notify if a vehicle appears to have covered too much distance in a particular amount of time. The average speed system is already a familiar sight to us – on motorways to maintain traffic flow and also in road works - and there are rumoured to be plans afoot to adapt this for non-motorway use.

Two further trials are currently running (drivers in Southwark [London] and on the A347 in Cornwall be warned!) – and these same trials came under fire when their secret operation was mentioned in a Parliamentary report.

But why track motorists with such persistence? Possibly because UK drivers have been issued with 16 million driving tickets since 1997 – which has raised nearly £1 billion! That really speaks for itself in terms of revenue earning.

So, drivers beware – someone, somewhere is watching you!!!

As ever, anything to do with motoring or vehicles can be a minefield. However, if you need anything to do with insurance, you don't need to reach for the stars, go to an expert and avoid anything alien – they could have cameras!

Posted on 7th May, 2010