Police are testing speed cameras that snap a picture of the driver as well as their car number plate.
The move is in response to the defence put forward by around 700,000 motorists who have received speeding tickets and blamed someone else for driving.
Technicians at Gatso, the company that makes many speed cameras, have devised a ‘double take’ system that captures pictures of the car number plate and the driver – even at night.
The first flash of the camera triggers the taking of a second image using an infra-red filter to stop the camera dazzling the driver and to provide pinpoint high definition even on the darkest night.
Drivers who dispute their identity will see the photographs before going to court, and will have a warning that they could be charged with perverting the course of justice if they deny they were driving when the photo shows they were.
“When people see the images it helps to change their minds,” said a Gatso spokesman. “The cameras have been highly successful in cases where the driver claims it was his wife behind the wheel, but the image clearly shows it was a man driving.”
Never on a Sunday
Disgruntled drivers in Maryland, USA, complained after receiving speeding tickets from a camera that should have been switched off.
State laws limit the camera’s working hours to 6 am to 8 pm weekdays – but 18 drivers picked up tickets for speeding at different times on a Sunday.
“We then reviewed all of them. We got in touch with the individual drivers. One of them had already paid and was reimbursed. The rest had their tickets waived,” said a police spokesman.
Thanks a million…five times over
A new speed camera mounted on an overhead gantry on the M1 motorway near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, raised AUS$5 million (£3.14 million) in just a month.
The camera snapped 36,661 speeding drivers at an average of almost one a minute and each received at least the minimum $133 fine (£84).
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