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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 05:57 
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'Greedy' councils rush to install new super-Gatso that catches FIFTY times as many drivers as standard traffic cameras
By Shari Miller PUBLISHED: 09:44, 22 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:04, 22 September 2013

The ZenGrab LaneWatch Mk2 cameras cost £17,000 each
In a two-week trial, new camera caught more than 1,000 offences - compared to just 271 in entire year with conventional Gatso
Company behind super-camera claims 'surge in interest' from councils
Critics claim new system will simply use motorists as 'cash cows'

A super-camera capable of catching up to 50 times as many drivers as conventional speed cameras has been unveiled by councils across Britain as the latest weapon against motorists who break the rules of the road.
Some critics are already arguing the new system - known as ZenGrab LaneWatch Mk2 - will simply use motorists as 'cash cows', while fining drivers for every contravention to boost council income would be 'immoral'.
The cameras, which each cost £17,000 and feature two lenses and night vision, are being snapped up by councils across the country in expectation of a law change allowing the use of cameras to fine drivers for a greater range of offences.

Goodbye Gatsos: Conventional speed cameras, like the one pictured, are set to be replaced by "super-cameras" capable of catching 50 times more drivers

In recent months, transport minister Norman Baker said all councils should have the power to fine drivers for passing no-entry signs or making illegal U-turns and right turns.
Councils within London already have those powers under the 2004 Traffic Management Act, but the government is now reviewing that situation for across the country.

Presently, cameras installed outside London are only used to enforce bus lanes.
But the new cameras can also track drivers who wander into yellow box junctions or make prohibited turns.

Documents from Westminster Council show that in trials on two similar stretches of road, the ZenGrab system caught more than 1,000 offences in four weeks, compared to just 271 caught on conventional Gatso cameras in an entire year.
Like borough councils across the capital, many others have expressed interest in the new system.
Manchester installed 15 ZenGrab cameras last month, Nottingham is upgrading to ZenGrab Mk 2 and both Glasgow and Medway in Kent already have the system in operation.

Watching: Unlike the Gatso (pictured) the ZenGrab LaneWatch Mk 2 system can track more than just speeding offences, including drivers who make illegal U-turns or wander into bus lanes
Adrian Ford of Zenco, the company behind the ZenGrab system, told The Sunday Times that the past year had seen 'a surge in interest from councils.'
But motoring organisations have expressed their concerns.

Paul Watters from the AA, said: 'Sticking up cameras to enforce every minor contravention is bordering on the immoral.'
Brian Donohoe, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, also found himself at odds with the ZenGrab system when he claims to have mistakenly pulled into a bus lane in Glasgow.

'They [the council] are using motorists as a cash cow. There is no other way of looking at it,' he said.
The widespread use of the cameras is also likely to further inflame recent criticism accusing councils of using parking fees as a massive moneyspinner.
Last month a survey revealed that town halls boosted their annual profit from parking tickets, permits and penalties in 2011-12 by more than £500million

The RAC Foundation revealed councils raked in more than £1.4billion, of which nearly £565million was pure profit.
That is £54million, 10.5 per cent, more than the ‘surplus’ in the previous year.
In August, the High Court declared Barnet Council in North London had acted illegally in setting parking charges for the sole purpose of making profit.
The RAC Foundation said councils must now ‘come clean’ about their parking charges and prove to motorists that they are not being used illegally to subsidise other services.
Mr Pickles added that the figures showed ‘why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules’ and urged councils to stop treating drivers as a ‘cash cow’ to subsidise other services.

COUNCILS AND THEIR CAMERAS: ENFORCING SAFETY OR A 'CASH COW'?
Caught on camera: The conventional Gatso has been at the centre of controversy with motorists

The Gatso that made millions
In 2009, a motorway speed camera on the M11 at the junction with the North Circular A406 near Woodford, Essex, was estimated to catch up to 500 drivers a day - and generated nearly £1million a year in fines for Essex Council.
The camera, jointly run by Essex Council, was placed where the road narrowed from three lanes to two and the speed limit dropped from 70mph to 50mph.
But figures showed accidents rose by a quarter and casualties almost doubled after the Gatso camera was installed.
Police said crashes happened because motorists slowed down ahead of the camera and then sped up once they were clear of it.

A pretty penny for Peterborough
In 2010, two fixed cameras installed to slow cars to 40mph approaching roadworks brought in £54,000 in just 10 days.
The cameras were installed to slow drivers on the A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway in Peterborough.

No smiles for the camera
In 2011, more than 24,500 drivers were refunded nearly £1.5m in fines after it was found a speed camera had been operating illegally for 10 years.
Thousands were wrongly trapped by the Gatso device positioned along the busy A35 at Chideock, Dorset.
When the camera was installed in 1997, a clerical error on the original paperwork meant a road used to mark out the 30mph zone it policed, did not exist.
The error, which meant the speed limit was invalid and so could not be enforced by the camera, came to light when a judge spotted it in documents relating to the case of a lorry driver.

As a result 24,259 drivers who paid fines of £40 and £60 between 1997 and 2007 were refunded.
Some 201 motorists who challenged their fines in court received a total of £22,827 back from extra costs and fines they incurred.
And those who incurred three penalty points on their driving licences had them the wiped off.
The blunder has also cost the Dorset Road Safe organisation £370,981 in administration costs picked up for sorting out the mess.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z2fmUE4Oma
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LaneWatch wrote:
ZenGrab LaneWatch
Mk2 is an unattended traffic and parking contravention enforcement camera that provides automatic, wireless enforcement of bus lane, stopped vehicle and
moving traffic contraventions.
Well they might as well have declared war on the motorist!
We are in a recession (barely out of it) yet they wish to find all this money to waste on even more automated enforcement of technical infringements, that will continue to strain people's purse strings, just at the time when the economy needs people to spend money on the high street!
All people will start to over worry and increase the paranoia over every technical error they might have made, accidentally or unintentionally.
Whilst we must have people pay attention and abide by the rules this wreaks of money streams into already heavy pockets. What next will we see 'Yellow Box Blocking Course'?
Where is the evidence that these infringements are a big enough part of road safety that this will create substantial benefits to make the roads safer? In fact I am struggling to see many benefits for these 'automated big brother' cameras. Road Safety is forgotten in favour of higher goal compliance, yet there is nothing in the Stats 19 that jumps out that these technical infringements will prevent road incidents.

So are these cameras really the fore-runner to toll road charging throughout the UK ?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 08:04 
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Wireless, huh?

Ripe for jamming?

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 02:26 
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This reference shows their function
Quote:
hereBus Lane Enforcement
The Bus Lane Enforcement (BLE) camera head is used when only the enforcement of bus lanes and bus gates is a requirement. The camera head contains a colour overview module that provides contextual video evidence and a monochrome close -up module that provides vehicle details. Contravention detection and vehicle identification are carried out using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).

Moving Traffic Enforcement
The Moving Traffic Enforcement evidence camera head is used for the enforcement of banned turns, stopped vehicle, yellow box junctions etc. The evidence camera head incorporates two
independently adjustable (pan & tilt) CCD modules, one for the viewing of contextual video and one for the identification of vehicle details.

VCA technology is used to analyse live images of the selected traffic junction / zone to detect if a possible contravention has been carried out. If detection occurs the evidence camera head will provide a digital video recording. Using this method of detection, all manner of moving traffic contraventions can be enforced.

Evidence Processing & Transmission
The Evidence Processor is a compact, lightweight, highly efficient, self contained unit that mounts adjacent to the chosen camera head on existing street furniture. The Evidence Processor carries out the contravention detection functions as well as the digital recording, vehicle identification and evidence transmission to the ZenGrab Core service. Zenco’s enforcement software has been purpose developed to run on the LaneWatch Evidence Processor, minimising power requirements and environmental impact whilst providing 24/7 operation with the minimum of on -
street maintenance.
I really think that this is going to become the bane of the motorists lives. Whilst no one wants to commit any offence, there are many new rules and regs. People already don't bother to use bus lanes because it is easier to just 'not use them', then make a mistake. So when a mistake might cost you in the pocket and alter your lifestyle then it starts to demand more of your attention. However are these infringements truly necessary in order to keep the roads safer ?
Why are no Uturns always required ? A small very momentary drift over into a bus lane when no obvious bus was impeded in any way ought not to receive any ticket, it's not common sense. If someone moves into a bus lane to avoid an accident even if it did impede a bus or taxi etc then that ought not to receive any ticket either, and this is where it will cause far more anguish frustration and hate from the otherwise law abiding and conscientious motorist.
It will further devalue the point system and we will see, sooner or later, a proposed change to the point system to increase the number of points 'allowed' before banning. Perhaps using 'courses' to gain further funds from the motorists, which will make it harder for some people to properly maintain and service vehicles even further. This won't help road safety.
Whilst everyone ought to be obeying all the rules of the road, there are times when small errors will happen and people make mistakes, yet no one might have been endangered and any enforcement may not have been necessary. This will change that. It will increase the rift between the public and the police.

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