We've had all sorts of stories about speed cameras and the problems they can cause -- but there's no doubt that it's quite a lucrative business for the providers of the speed cameras (who often agree to install them for free in exchange for keeping a percentage of the ticket proceeds). Of course, with the speed camera and red light camera market getting saturated, what other driving offenses can companies try to automate systems to catch? According to Slashdot, one company is working on a system to automatically determine if drivers are driving while talking on their mobile phones. There are all sorts of questions raised by this. Already we've seen supporters of laws against driving while yakking rethink their position, as it's not the yakking that's the problem -- but driver's doing anything distracting while driving -- and banning things one by one isn't an effective solution. However, a bigger point is how could this technology possibly work? How can it tell that the driver is talking rather than a passenger? How can it distinguish between a driver using a mobile phone or an earpiece (or a system like OnStar?)? None of these questions are answered at all -- and there's also some bizarre offhand comment about how the system can use a paintball gun to mark cars for police to ticket, which makes it sound like the whole thing might just be a spoof rather than anything real. In the meantime, what's next? A device to automatically catch people having sex while driving? Or what about a device to catch people eating spaghetti while driving?
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