Currently reading: Smart CCTV cars 'raise £8m'
Councils are only using the cars to raise money and not to improve safety, claims watchdog

Smarts equipped with CCTV raised more than £8 million in parking fines for local councils, new research has revealed.

Campaign group Big Brother Watch claims the 54 cars operated by 31 local councils in Britain caught and fined more than 188,000 illegally parked motorists between April 2009 and March 2010.

Read more on plans to axe speed cameras in the UK

Many councils lease the cars from parking contracts and Big Brother Watch is concerned the cars are used only to generate funds and not to increase road safety. The group also called on the coalition government to clamp down on their use.

Dylan Sharpe, the group’s campaign director, said, “The CCTV Smart car represents a very dangerous escalation in Britain's surveillance society. The vehicles are sent out to catch people and make money, with road safety only an afterthought.

“It is surely only a matter of time before more councils start using these cars. The coalition government must act now and prevent that from happening."

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weenedonpetrol 12 August 2010

Re: Smart CCTV cars 'raise £8m'

Driving while holding a mobile phone is dangerous. Parking illegally is inconsiderate and annoying. It has to be more efficient to for local councils to police these two offences by a mobile patrol using video than by having a person walking the streets. If councils make money from the fines this is a bonus. Those of us who have purchased a hands-free kit for our phones and who do not park illegally should have nothing to fear.

gazza5 12 August 2010

Re: Smart CCTV cars 'raise £8m'

We have a smart car that goes round here - one thing I would say though - we are all told cars are bad etc got to pay higher tax - killing polar bears etc - how much do you think the smart car weighs with all this equipment - think of all the co2 etc with it driving around all day? Ok its a smart car - but even so!

I would by far rather see more police cars out - and th emobile phone thing is running out of control round here lately.

Sam_notts 12 August 2010

Re: Smart CCTV cars 'raise £8m'

we have Toyota IQ's here in Nottingham, if they caught the people who still insist on taking phone calls behind the wheel and fined them accordingly, id be a happier motorist!