How To Make CCTV Cameras Even More Awesome: Put 'Em On Wheels

from the we're-watching-you dept

The UK has taken great strides towards being one of the most surveilled societies on Earth, and cops in Manchester are doing their part by attaching CCTV cameras to Smart cars (via Boing Boing). They deploy the vehicles at intersections to catch distracted drivers, they claim, filming cars as they pass by, then reviewing the footage later to determine if drivers are talking on mobile phones, putting on makeup, or performing other distracting activities. Offending drivers then get a letter in the mail, usually with a fine. Police say the measures "are reasonable, proportionate and fair in light of the fact that we are trying to save lives." Is it that likely the cameras will actually save lives? The safety argument when applied to traffic cameras generally seems suspect, and so if that goal's out of reach, how reasonable is the surveillance?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Oh, please.

    So what's the fine for being distracted by a weird little vehicle with a fecking periscope sticking up out of it?

     

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  2.  
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    Matt T., Apr 13th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Rule, Britannia?

    Britons never never never will be slaves...

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Rule, Britannia?

    >Britons never never never will be slaves...

    Indentured servants maybe...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Rule, Britannia?

    ....again.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Why is it such a bad thing? People really shouldn't be putting on makeup while driving. It's not recording you in your own home, if your not breaking the rules/laws your not going to be hurt by it. I know the whole CCTV thing is a slippery slope but at the same time we have people out there increasingly breaking small rules and not caring, even thinking it's a good thing, which is itself a slippery slope. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue, but I'm not sure why everyone freaks out about it either.

     

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  6.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Re:

    No people shouldn't be doing those things BUT....

    The government shouldn't be doing what it is doing even more so.

    The people being distracted is a slippery slope to an accident.

    The government putting total surveillance on its people is a slippery slope to tyranny.

    Which would you prefer? Think carefully.

     

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  7.  
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    SteveD, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    I've no idea. If a policemen spots you stopped at lights on your phone, thats a fine and points on your licence. How's this any different?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re:

    I take it you've no problem with them attaching a camera & gps on you when you leave your house tell you get home.

    It's for your protection and you don't have anything to hide anyways.

     

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  9.  
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    Jesse, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Maybe if some legislation was introduced that said all revenue generated by fines could only be used to cover the cost of the program (set to a reasonable cap), and then profit is donated to charity. Maybe then it would be easier to convince people that such a program was effective at things other than generating revenue.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    I do have a problem with them attaching a camera and GPS on me as soon as I leave my house and only taking it off when I get home as I may go many places that are no longer public. That's a hugely exagerated postion of the of one I took. however like I said I do realize that it's a slippery slope, I'm just not sure that this is one of the bigger issue's we are facing today. I do think we need to keep an eye on where the gov't does things like this and how it's regulated but there are situations like the US wiretapping that are actually more pressing and dangerous(seeing as the current gov't apparently is not opposed to it). I just think maybe we pick our battles.

     

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  11.  
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    Jason, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:39pm

    The REAL trouble

    This kind of nit-picky BS is an administrative nightmare. As you continue to spit out more and more nit-picky fines, your administrative costs of justice will increase exponentially. Imagine what will happen if all of these people decided to contest this in court. The paperwork, the admin personnel, the clerks, the justices, the filing, the scheduling.

    There's a reason we strive for what's reasonable in the courts. Reasonable monitoring of possible infractions is always acceptable. Hound-dogging infractions is a pitiful waste of the resources of any justice system.

    When you waste justice system resources, you waste justice.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    If you see one of these cars throw a moltov cocktail at it, that way you can actually be fined for a criminal offense instead of just living your day-to-day life.

    Soon enough they'll want them in your homes... oh wait they already do that some places.

     

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  13.  
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    1812lsd, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Safety or Revenue

    Safety or Revenue
    I vote the latter.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    What I don't get is why people aren't arguing this on a basis of privacy. If they could invent a device that could hover outside your window so that anytime you were in a car someone was watching you to make sure you weren't doing anything illegal you all seem to be in favor of allowing such.

    Laws are put in place so when people do something illegal they are punished for it. The punishment in itself should be enough to deter anyone from committing the act in the first place. The job of law enforcement is to arrest offenders, not to spy on every single person waiting until they make that offense.

    Surveillance doesn't make anything safe, it just lets you know immediately if you're fucked or not. Quit allowing the government to rape your civil liberties and take over your personal life just because you think they're taking your best interests into consideration, I can guarantee you they don't give a flying fuck one way or another; just pay your taxes and be on your marry way.

     

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  15.  
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    Rod Night, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Smart car CCTV

    I'm in Sydney Australia, and whilst I'm glad to see that it's not just us with this problem, I'm sad that it's a world wide trend. Revenue raising through the Police is not fair, that is the job of the Tax Dept. If they are really trying to save lives, get out on the street rather than sit in McDonalds and be seen. Look at the annual statistics and see how many lives they save. The problem is that they can't. Lives will be lost because that is just human nature, we have drugs, alcohol, makeup and mobile phones. Whatever you want to blame it on, we are human, and we have accidents !

     

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  16.  
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    Barney Fife, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Dang it!, I got sprinkles on my uniform

    Why dont they arrest some real criminals?
    Because there is no money in it.
    Why exert energy running down a perp when you can relax in your smartcar eating donuts?
    Arrest a white collar criminal? - No way! You might lose your job because there are political connections.
    No, its much easier getting the low hanging fruit, and this police state mentality is cutting down the trees.

     

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  17.  
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    JustWearAMask, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    statute of limitations

    Any idea what the statute of limitations is on something like this? Is there such a thing in the UK?

    How long do they have to review this stuff before they send you a nose picking ticket and are they retroactive? What if next week they decide that wearing a hat whilst driving is an actionable offense, can they look back through the old files and send out a butt load?

     

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  18.  
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    zcat, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Dang it!, I got sprinkles on my uniform

    There's plenty of money in it, real criminals or ordinary citizens. But finding real criminals is hard work, catching soccer-mom driving while on the cellphone is much easier and just as profitable.

     

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  19.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Sneaky is as sneaky does, Sir.

    I think it's about time for Brits to line their faces and license plates in high intensity IR LEDs.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Sneaky is as sneaky does, Sir.

    and don't leave the house during daylight hours

     

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  21.  
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    yogi, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 12:21am

    Hard to beieve

    that the Brits have become this stupid.

    On the other hand the evidence is overwhelming.

     

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  22.  
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    Liam, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Re: Hard to beieve

    stupid or apathetic?

    You hear people complain about this stuff all the time here, yet no one will do anything about it.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Re:

    Around here, at least, we have this idea of "unreasonable search and seisure." Yeah, if cops are allowed to stop anyone and strip search they we could stop lots of crime, but we'd also be invading the rights and privacy of innocent people. The "it's OK because we're trying to save lives" argument makes me uncomfortable because it tastes like an "ends justify the means" sort of thing. Anything is allowed as long as we (claim to) have good intentions, right?

    Yeah, people shouldn't be putting on make-up in the car. Arguably they shouldn't be talking on their cellphone. But I don't think that makes it right for the government to spray-and-pray videotape it's citizens...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:23am

    Re:

    US Wiretapping has no bearing on British suveillance culture. Well, not to the point that we should find ourselves in a "this or that" situation.

    Anyways, pick our battles? What's that supposed to mean? "OK, ok, we'll let you monitor our daily routines as long as you don't listen to our phone calls." How about no, you can't monitor me and, no, you can't listen to my phone calls.

     

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  25.  
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    Cipher-0, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    We already have mobile surveilance...

    ... and they're collectively known as police cars. You know, the kind with cops in them?

     

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  26.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Minority report

    The problem is not the "distracting" activity, but the possible traffic violations that result from it. Whether an activity is distracting is quite subjective. Whether and to what degree a distraction affects driving ability varies by individual. If a driver can take perform some task without violating any traffic laws, driving recklessly, or causing any accidents, then why ticket them?

    I do see how this argument could also be applied to DUIs, though I think it is a stretch. Alcohol causes an actual, measurable, physical impairment in all people. The degree varies, but delayed responses and coordination are always present. And, unlike other distractions, the effect of alcohol can't be adjusted down by the multi-tasking/prioritization abilities of the brain. It also can't be "turned off," like a phone, radio, razor, make-up, conversation with a passenger, etc.

    In any case, with moves like these "smart cars," it seems the UK is moving ever closer to a Minority Report-like situation, where drivers are being fined for the probability/possibility of committing a crime rather than the commission itself. Why don't they just start fining everyone driving, since there's a chance they could cause an accident?

     

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  27.  
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    David, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Revenue

    Yeah.......definitely revenue-based, despite what they may say!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    rootcctv.com, Sep 1st, 2009 @ 1:23am

    Wholesale cctv cameras

    Dear Sir or madam, We are a manufacturer of CCTV cameras from China,we offer kinds of cctv cameras and DVRS with good price,please see our products catalogue for your consideration. http://www.samtou.com/download/samtou-cctv%20camera-catalogue.pdf Website: http://www.rootcctv.com Please contact us for further detail.Thank you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Steve, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    home cctv security

    Yeah, after my mum’s house got broken into I decided to setup a security system with cctv. She feel a lot safer now and then system I got links to the net so if there is any trouble I can view her house from my place. I got some useful information from http://www.homecctvsecurity.co.uk … after reading some information here I decided the ip cams were my best option. Thanks Steve

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    king philip tagala, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 2:42am

    aappreciation

    it is good that we have cctv cameras,,.,.and i want to learn how to make it!

     

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  31.  
    icon
    sri (profile), Jul 12th, 2014 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    90% of crminal cases are foud out by CCTV. besides it helps to find reduce Crimes . if u install 10 cameras in your office it is like appointing new 10 managers

    very nice article !!
    thanks to author
    Regards,
    cctv camera in chennai

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    sri (profile), Jul 12th, 2014 @ 2:39pm

    cctv camera in chennai

    90% of crminal cases are foud out by CCTV. besides it helps to find reduce Crimes . if u install 10 cameras in your office it is appointing new 10 managers

    very nice article !!
    thanks to author
    Regards,
    cctv camera in chennai

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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