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France: Cameras are watching more than speed


France is planning to triple the numbers of speed cameras along the road to 1,200 by next year, and it's planning to use them to keep track of much more than speed.

The new cameras can also track sudden swerving, tailgating, jumping lights, phone use or driving without a seatbelt. All those violations could result in tickets being issued by mail. At first, though, they will be used only for speed.

Not everyone in France is in favor of the move, which is expected to bring in enough money in fines to pay for the systems. Since the 'yellow vest' protests began last year, the speed cameras have been frequent targets, with three quarters of the cameras being vandalized.

But authorities think they have that issue licked. The new cameras are mounted on 4-metre-tall polls, making them harder to vandalize—and they take pictures of anyone climbing up to the camera. They are also 'hardened' against brute force attacks.

Each of the 1,200 cameras will be paired with four decoy cameras. The decoys and real cameras will be swapped around regularly to keep people from finding the decoys.

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I'm very wary of surveillance when it applies at an individual level. However, traffic, often high speed traffic, has to be regulated (Highway Code) for us to expect to survive most journeys. 

Who is it that would object to bad driving being scrutinised ? They may well be grateful some day that someone else's misdemeanour has been noted.

if you mindfully do that stuff, you shouldn't. And if you won't behave among the rest of us, then maybe you shouldn't drive. 

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