Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Secretly Film Speed Camera Cheats; DANGEROUS DRIVERS ARE CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN CRACKDOWN BY PATROL CARS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Secretly Film Speed Camera Cheats; DANGEROUS DRIVERS ARE CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN CRACKDOWN BY PATROL CARS

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

POLICE are secretly filming motorists who slam on their brakes to "cheat" speed cameras.

Specially trained traffic officers are using unmarked cars to tail dangerous-driving suspects while filming them with high-resolution cameras.

The scheme is aimed at catching drivers who evade the spy devices but go on to become involved in high-speed or road-rage incidents.

Police hailed the "candid camera" trial a success after stopping 131 motorists in three weeks. Fifty-four drivers faced immediate prosecution for serious motoring offences, including dangerous driving and drink driving.

Thirty per cent of those prosecuted had no licence and insurance, and would have been untraceable even if they had been photographed by speed or traffic-light cameras.

Many of those stopped were offered places on driver-improvement courses as an alternative to prosecution.

Safety campaigners welcomed the clampdown, which was launched in north-west London after a spate of serious high-speed accidents.

Motoring organisations said the scheme would redress the balance after too much emphasis had been placed on speed cameras, allowing other dangerous behaviour to go unpunished.

As well as filming drivers accelerating between cameras, the Met is targeting those whose antics endanger other road users on busy routes.

Police are also filming drivers who:

"Tailgate" - drive too close to vehicles in front

Overtake on the inside . Weave in and out of traffic

Cut in front of other drivers

Intimidate other motorists

Chief Inspector Ian Brooks, leading the initiative in north-west London, said: " We had 60 people killed on the roads here in the last 12 months. Then in the space of just one month - November - we had 13 deaths, three times the average.

The only way to find the motorists responsible is to get out there in unmarked cars and catch them at it. …

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