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ZenGrab And The Art Of Money Making

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ZenGrab And The Art Of Money Making

Geoff Maxted
September 22, 2013

Speed Camera
You know your local council? It comprises a group of people who come forward to be elected to serve the community. How is it then, that as a body, they have come to understand that they are the boss of you? Now; you know our national government? It comprises a group of people who come forward to be elected to serve the nation. Over the years the various factions have absolved themselves of the onerous duties of running the unimportant things - Utilities and the like - and instead concentrate their efforts on telling you what to do.

The most recent shower announced upon election that the ‘war on motorists was over’. Certainly there is less talk of speed cameras and ‘partnerships’ and people now come from miles around, like twitchers, when a rare traffic cop is sighted. The trouble is, nobody told the councils.

New and more sophisticated devices to watch you, the driver, seem to appear with alarming regularity. CCTV abounds and penalty tickets fly around like so much discarded confetti but now there is a much more invidious eye upon you; one that skulks up poles and does not make itself easily known. It is the ZenGrab LaneWatch. (Zen! Perhaps they should have looked it up first!)

This was trialled during the Olympics to keep the rabble out of the official lanes and it worked very well by all accounts, enabling Lord Coe and other notaries to move around our crowded metropolis with ease thus ensuring no lunch bookings were missed.

The end result of this (or the ‘legacy’ as it’s known) is that councils have spotted this new toy and are mad for it. It now seems that they are likely to get it too because the powers used in London may soon be available to all authorities under new laws that, it is expected, will be granted by the government under the modified guise of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004.

Without going into huge depth, the reason that the local authorities are so keen on this is that the system removes some of the limitations of CCTV. A moving car can be blurred for example. Zengrab has two cameras. One provides the overview of the road and the other snaps a nice sharp image of the alleged offenders number plate. However DriveWrite’s main problem with this new spyware is that it is automatic. Human involvement is not required. The machine sees all and acts accordingly, so, whatever the circumstances, you’re nicked.

There is no human involvement until the information is sent to the council for the penalty to be issued. Without labouring the point I expect everyone could think of unavoidable circumstances whereby it may be necessary to enter a bus lane or make a U-turn and so on. The camera doesn’t care and, on their past performances, neither do the councils.

It should now be crystal clear to all right-thinking people that the authorities see the slightest driving transgression as a money-making opportunity despite their often disingenuous comments to the contrary. Nobody wants to see a free-for-all on our roads - rules must apply; but it is how they are enforced that’s the issue. When is enough enough?

Written by Geoff Maxted (whilst in a particularly opinionated frame of mind).

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