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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 17:41 
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http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2004241541,00.html

Zoom lens to trap drivers

By JOHN COLES

COPS are to use speed guns that can trap unwary drivers more than A MILE away.

The move provoked fury last night among motorists who already feel victimised.

They claimed the high-tech gadget was yet another sneaky way of making money from them.

The long-range ProLaser III uses laser and video technology to record offenders.

It is designed to foil people who slow down for conventional roadside cameras then accelerate afterwards.

ProLaser will zoom in on cars at a distance of 2,000 metres.

And the video quality is so good that it closes a loophole sometimes exploited by unscrupulous motorists.

Their faces will be recognisable so police can tell who was at the wheel.

Manufacturers of the ProLaser III boast: ?Drivers simply don?t have a chance?.

The £8,000 cameras have the potential to raise millions for local safety partnerships which operate them and could lead to thousands of motorists losing their licences.

In 15 per cent of areas cops will not even have to put up warning signs.

Paul Smith, of campaign group Safe Speed, said: ?We think speed cameras are making things more dangerous because drivers are looking for cameras not hazards.

?There is financial motivation for the safety partnerships because each year they increase their empire so each year they need more revenue to support the growth of their empires.?

Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation, said: ?There is a role for cameras if they target areas where accidents are happening.

?Where we do have a problem is where technology is replacing traffic police.

Recent research from the Transport Department on the cause of accidents showed excessive speed was number seven in importance.

?Number one was inattention, which might be drivers looking out for speed cameras.?

Dorset will be one of the first counties to introduce the ProLaser III next month.

But the local Police Federation was concerned the cameras would further erode public confidence in the force.

Clive Chamberlain, the organisation?s Dorset representative, said: ?One of our primary objectives should be to provide public reassurance by high visibility policing.

?I don?t know how much an even more covert camera will do towards enhancing this objective.?

The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership denied it was another money-spinning scheme and claimed it was designed to save lives.

Project manager Johnny Stephens said: ?Our overriding priority is to reduce the number of casualties on Dorset?s roads.?

The cameras are made by Kansas-based Kustom Signals Inc.

The firm says the 3lb units are light enough for police to use with pinpoint accuracy and without becoming tired.

Ifa Trodd, managing director of UK distributors Traffic Safety Systems Ltd, said: ?The ProLaser III represents the latest technology in laser speed detection technology and has a high performance.?

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 18:02 
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As I mentioned in the other post on the Prolaser III, the range is about 3/4 mile. Why are the media overstating it so much (more than a mile in the Sun)? Lazy reporting, rounding up the numbers because they think the readership can't do fractions, or does "More than a mile" make better copy than just over 3/4 mile?
Or are the police and partnerships deliberately overstating the capabilities, knowing that a co-operative and easily manipulated press will scare us all into eyeing the speedo every second of every mile we drive?

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 18:17 
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Yeah. Good questions. I know it's not "just" lazy reporting because a reporter I was talking to yesterday read out to me on the telephone a press release claiming a 2,000m range. I believe that the press release came from Dorset Camera Partnership.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 18:41 
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This is also reported in "The Times" today:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 13,00.html

"Speed cameras to catch drivers a mile away"

I won't reproduce the entire piece, but it includes:

Paul Smith, from the campaign group Safe Speed, insisted that speed cameras are making roads more dangerous “because drivers are looking for speed cameras, not road hazards.”

Regards,

Peter

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