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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Police target tailgating drivers
Road camera
The new camera would measure the distance between vehicles
A new type of roadside camera that will target tailgating motorists is being developed, say police.

The cameras would measure gaps between vehicles and record number plates so that offenders could be penalised.

Motorists driving close to a car in front of them can currently be charged with careless or dangerous driving.

The Association of Chief Police Officers said the plans, raised at last week's Police Federation annual conference, were at "an early stage".

Dangerous behaviour

Meredydd Hughes, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, told the conference that tests on the device were under way.

"We have tested a laser-based camera system which has the potential to detect incidents of close following," Mr Hughes said.

"The public have told us that close following is some of the most dangerous behaviour on the roads.

We need to talk to manufacturers about what is and isn't possible
Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman

"Evidence from the Transport Research Laboratory shows that it does contribute to road crashes."

A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told BBC News Online that "a number of manufacturers" were working on a device.

"We are looking at different types of technology with a view to making Britain's roads safer.

"We need to talk to manufacturers about what is and isn't possible."

There could then be a pilot scheme which would last between six months and a year, the spokesman said.

"The idea is being looked at but it's at an extremely early stage - it will be a number of years before we see a device like that on the roads.

"As ever, the main priority is road safety, but there has to be an enforcement angle to that," the spokesman said.




SEE ALSO:
RAC chief calls for more police
19 May 04  |  England


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