Friday 3 April 2009

More Righteous Mission Creep

More reasons why Jacqui Smith simply can't be trusted on ID cards. She can argue till her face is bluer than a lads' night in with her hubby that they will just be used to fight terrorism, but for every new legal or technological toy that is devised, there is always some righteous self-aggrandiser who will use it for other means (think anti-terror laws for bin indiscretions here).

Here's another example of a decent idea, from last year, being hijacked.

A council is giving its lollipop men and women a new weapon to fight aggressive drivers.

Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire has mounted mini cameras on lollipops, one facing forwards, the other backwards.

The pictures can be used as evidence against drivers who hurl abuse or put the children crossing the road at risk.

Yep. If it cuts down on selfishness and intolerance towards childrens' crossings, can't argue much with that. Some might even say say about time too. Hillingdon Council in London started using these 'lollicams' in February.

CCTV cameras have been installed in lollipop ladies' sticks in a west London borough to help keep them safe.

Hillingdon Council has introduced "lollicams" to catch drivers who break the law by failing to stop when school patrol staff command them to do so.

The council has said there are 60 reported cases of abuse or intimidation every month.

So far, so good. But then you just knew that something like this, as reported on the BBC today, was coming.

Fergus Chambers, managing director of Cordia, said: "We are not just talking about people who fail to stop when they see the lollipop sign. We have 390 crossing patrol across Glasgow and every week our lollipop men and women report at least one or two incidents where drivers have been speeding or driving dangerously.

This technology will also help the police secure convictions against irresponsible drivers."

Slice by tiny slice.


banned said...

Lollipop persons in London used to carry a badge accredititing their authority from the Met Police, what are the credentials of private sector lollipop persons such as these ?
From your stills Dick, I can't see their lollicams being of much use evidentially in Court.

Curmudgeon said...

I appreciate the underlying point, but in reality lollicams won't be type-approved for speeding convictions, and if they do secure convictions for careless or dangerous driving it is likely to be for the kind of utter knobbishness that deserves to be caught anyway.

If they were able to secure speeding convictions, then respect for lollipop-people would drop off a cliff.

Cate Munro said...

I think it's bloody disgusting. Another example of The Righteous' grip on all our lives.

soulboy said...

It is my understanding that in Cordia's case they only manage the staff on behalf of the local authority The evidence gathered from these lollicams has been gathered and stored in accordence with current national guidelines and as it is gathered by an authorised officer of the Scottish Office it is fully admissable in court. They only record when they are in the middle of the road and only capture images of drivers for 24 hours. They can not be used for speed, dangerous driving or other offences. I think that this is a good use of technology to solve a problem. We have seen a direct improvement to driver behaviour here when these poles have been used.