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smart142

Is spy car a fair or ‘Smart’ tactic?;

4 posts in this topic

Michael Herbert

26/ 3/2008

IT may look harmless, if not ridiculous, but motorists will not be smiling when the spy car takes to borough streets next week.

For the strange looking Smart car with the periscope on top is on a mission to catch vehicles parked illegally and impose automatic fines.

From March 31, councils have new powers to capture offenders on camera and issue fines by post, instead of slapping tickets on windscreens.

And Oldham Council will be pioneering a new scheme – by using the Smart car to take images of vehicles parked in bus lanes and outside schools.

The vehicle will be driven to known hot-spots and record video footage, which will be returned to the borough’s CCTV operation centre and analysed for offences.

Guilty motorists will then be informed by post – about 14 days after the offence was committed – about their parking fine.

An image will go on file as evidence if the fine is challenged.

Oldham Council says the option of a roving car at trouble spots is preferable to fixed CCTV cameras because it is more cost-effective and flexible.

A spokesman said: "We will not, at this time, be introducing fixed cameras. We will be introducing the Smart car to monitor bus lanes and areas with mandatory markings outside schools.

"This new system offers great benefits to the public including safer roads, improved traffic flow and quicker buses. It will also help us meet Government congestion targets."

However, the idea has angered motoring groups who say it will be harder for drivers to gather evidence to appeal against tickets they believe have been unfairly issued.

Sheila Rainger, acting director of the RAC, said: "The worry with CCTV enforcement is that, by its nature, it’s automatic. There’s no opportunity to use common sense."

Residents aren’t too happy either.

Maxine Smith, a hairdresser from Royton, said: "This is a step too far. We’re becoming like Big Brother. I think it’s a disgusting and dishonest way to penalise taxpayers further."

Nikanal Ali, a Clarksfield taxi driver, described the scheme as a "money-making scam".

He said: "People in my job are going to be hit hard by this sort of thing."

Link.

Personally I have no problem with a municipality enforcing parking rules especially when they have gone high tech. Unfortunately the smart car will soon become feared in that community :rolleyes:

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If a person breaks the law that has been enacted by their government whether fair or not is no reason to take the law into your own hands. Either change the law, break the law or abide by the law and if you get caught then you deserve what you get! No remorse from me.

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Agreed 100%; I want photo radar back, to be honest!If you're caught, it's because you commited a crime. End of discussion!-Iain

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Agreed 100%; I want photo radar back, to be honest!If you're caught, it's because you commited a crime. End of discussion!-Iain

I agree but would like to point out that when it becomes too hard to commit a crime, the population has no recourse to defy an unjust law. A crime is only what some people in power decide to list as a crime, it isn't always what the people they're in charge of think is a crime. So remember that when approving or disapproving law enforcement "progress."I'm ok with camera parking enforcement though. It seems like a good way to smarten up lousy drivers. Around here they use fire lanes as parking spots for the lazy. "we'll only be a couple minutes" and it winds up clogging up the throughway so you can't get around. It's infuriating.

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