Roads bosses have to crack down on tailgates with new cameras that monitor gaps between vehicles
- The technology is being tested on a stretch of motorway in the Midlands
- According to figures, devices caught more than 26,000 drivers in two months
- The offense may result in criminal prosecution for driving without care and attention
It's long been one of the biggest bugbears for motorists – not to mention one of the most dangerous.
But now road bosses are planning a crackdown on tailgates with new cameras that monitor gaps between vehicles.
The technology is being tested on a stretch of freeway in the Midlands and plans are being made for a possible nationwide roll out next year.
Highways England figures obtained from the Daily Mail show that the devices captured more than 26,000 drivers in two months – more than 400 a day.
Road chiefs are planning a crackdown on tailgates with new cameras that monitor gaps between vehicles
The offense may result in criminal prosecution for driving without care and attention.
Offenders risk a minimum fine of £ 100 and three penalty points. However, drivers caught by the cameras will only receive warning letters during court hearings.
Official figures show that every year more than 100 people are killed or seriously injured in accidents in which a vehicle is driven too close to the one in front.
Smart highways blamed for spike in fines as numbers show new “stealth cameras” are behind 10 percent of police penalties
The number of speed cameras on freeways has tripled in a decade – and they are now responsible for more than one in ten police fines.
The "stealth cameras" have proliferated because they are seen as critical to controversial smart highways.
The numbers received in the mail showed that in the twelve months ending this autumn, more than 253,000 Intented Law Enforcement (NIP) notices were issued by 17 of the 20 police forces whose areas cover smart highways in England and Wales.
The numbers – excluding fines imposed by temporary cameras to check average speed – show for the first time the extent of speeding penalties imposed on motorways.
Smart highways make up 416 miles of road and are projected to be nearly twice as long by 2025. Therefore, a large number of additional cameras should be installed.
The deadly habit is a factor in about one in eight victims on highways and roads.
Highways England believes that only a small minority of the hatchbacks are intentional and many drivers simply do not know that they are dangerous entering the space of a car.
It may happen that only repeat offenders are tracked by the new cameras. Data from the trials show that of the 26,000 caught between October 5th and December 5th, 3,700 were caught tailgate more than once.
The worst offenders have been identified 12 times.
The Highway Code states that drivers should keep a distance of at least two seconds between vehicles, which doubles on wet roads.
Investigations in the car with dashcams and heart monitors showed that the typical reaction of a driver to a tailgate is surprise, anger and increased heart rate.
Victims may feel pressure to increase their speed dangerously in order to create more space between them and the vehicle in question.
Road Minister Baroness Vere said: “When people think about the causes of road accidents, tailgating is probably not one of them, but it can have dangerous effects.
"Highways England's innovative plans already show how serious and reckless this behavior is, and I hope this campaign will see us see a tailgate decline, making our roads, which are already some of the safest in the world, even safer. "
Jeremy Philips, Head of Traffic Safety at Highways England said: “Unfortunately, these new cameras have made it clear how many people are driving too close on our roads.
“We understand that most hatchbacks are unintentional by drivers who just don't know they are breaking into someone else's room dangerously.
"But not leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front can be very scary and intimidating – it could also prove fatal."
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