Speedsters no match for new foolproof cameras
December 28, 2006, 16:00
A new generation of speed cameras, capable of calculating how fast a car has been travelling over any distance, could be on the roads within months. Now, beating speed cameras by slowing down for a short distance is no longer an option.
"As a vehicle comes into an experimental zone, the vehicle's number plate is read, other particulars of the vehicle are also read. When the vehicle gets to the second point, the time taken (to get to the next point) is computered into the speed traveled," said John Schnell, the Road Traffic Inspectorate director.
In KwaZulu-Natal, where the system is being piloted, 52 people have been fined for speeding this month alone. The highest speed clocked in at 225km/h. Speed hogs have forked out as much as R120 000 for their recklessness.
Slowing down after passing the camera will not help. Authorities have worked out the time it would take to get to the next camera if you drive at the legal speed. If you get there quicker, they will know you were speeding.
These state of the art cameras are situated at accident black-spots on the N3 from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. They register number plates and also check if the owner is wanted for outstanding fines, arrest warrants and tax offences. Traffic officers are then alerted of the offences via SMS.
Officials say awareness created around the pilot system has stopped some motorists from speeding. The pilot system has been approved by the national director of public prosecutions. If the pilot system is given the green light by a committee of standards, it could be used nationally by April next year - just in time for the Easter holidays.