CCTV spy car takes to the streets

Spy cars just aren’t what they used to be. Once we had James Bond’s amphibious Lotus or fully-loaded Aston Martin. Now we’ve got runabouts with massive CCTV cameras sitting on top. The spy car has gone from being an object of desire to a source of ire. And the bad news is a new “super” spy car is about to hit the streets and bring errant motorists to book from hundreds of feet away.

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Eyes on the road

The latest addition to the spy cars fleet will be Peugeot 108s fitted with a ‘military grade’ camera systems that go by the slightly terrifying name of the Predator PTZ – although the name loses some of its impact when you learn PTZ stands for pan/tilt/zoom. The main camera can spot traffic transgressions taking place hundreds of yards away, and a secondary system has a 360-degree field of vision. All very hi-tech, and all sure to grind the gears of motorists up and down the country. The camera-fitted car will cost around £40,000 and will no doubt appeal to councils across Britain, although they won’t be able to use it to swell their coffers with additional parking fines.

How CCTV evidence can still be used

The recently-enacted Deregulation Act imposes a ban on enforcing on-street parking offences via CCTV evidence, but the car’s makers, Videalert, seem confident it’ll still be of use to local authorities.

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CCTV evidence can still be used to prosecute motorist who park outside schools and those use bus lanes illegally, as well as a number of moving traffic offences such as entering a box junction, driving the wrong way down a one-way street and making an illegal u-turn.
David Richmond, chief executive of Videalert, said: “This is a true multipurpose CCTV car. It is adaptable and we can expect to see it replacing the current CCTV cars, as councils need to justify their costs. Other cars are one-trick ponies; this one can be used for a variety of enforcement purposes.” It’s all a far cry from the days when spy cars were used to help depose villainous despots.

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