Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 17:20 UK

Spy cars to catch illegal drivers

Motorist on phone
A driver caught on their phone will be fined 60 and receive three points

Cars with spy cameras have taken to the streets of Greater Manchester to catch drivers using mobile phones, eating or doing anything illegal at the wheel.

Cameras on the two Smart cars, brainchild of safety group DriveSafe, photograph potential offenders and pass these on to police.

Motorists can get a fine in the post, without knowing they were photographed.

Nigel Humphries, from the Association of British Drivers, said the Smart cars were "a total infringement" of privacy.

A spokesman from DriveSafe said the scheme, which is also being run by Greater Manchester Police, could be potentially life saving as drivers would behave in a more cautious way to avoid being caught.

The spokesman added that the vehicles would patrol areas where there had been a high number of collisions caused by drivers being distracted.

In the past two years, motorists have been involved in 406 accidents in Greater Manchester, with drivers using mobile phones causing 51 of these crashes.

A driver caught by the Smart cars could be fined £60 and receive three points on their licence for using their mobiles.

Driving without a seatbelt or driving erratically while eating will lead to a £30 fine.

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