Mon, Apr 13th 2009 3:12pm
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?
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