Digital speed cameras which capture drivers smoking or eating at the wheel are being introduced nationwide in a new move to hammer motorists. Drivers will also face fines, bans and even jail for infringements such as driving without a seatbelt, using a hand-held mobile phone or overtaking across double white lines. The hi-tech DVD cameras, which have instant playback, will also be used to provide photographic evidence against those eating sandwiches or rolling-up cigarettes at the wheel. These are now considered serious offences under new guidelines drawn up for prosecutors. The development will massively increase the number of fines and prosecutions against normally law-abiding drivers for relatively minor offences.
Smoking at the wheel was recently included in the Highway Code as something which courts can consider as a factor when police accuse drivers of failing to have proper control of their vehicle.
Under new sentencing rules, motorists using hand-held mobile phones could be jailed for two years and be disqualified if this was an aggravating factor in dangerous driving.
"with the proportion of crimes solved suggests there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate." Close to £200 million ($401 million) has purportedly been spent on building such an elaborate CCTV network, but this study noted that it still wasn't "entirely clear if some of that money would not have been better spent on police officers."