Posted Mar 14th 2012 8:00PM
The British sure love their surveillance cameras, don't they? As if living in the police state that is modern Great Britain isn't bad enough for motorists, what with all the speed cameras and the like, there's a new plan afoot: Keep the uninsured from pumping gas.
According to The Mirror, a new government proposal would have surveillance cameras at gas stations determine whether a vehicle carries valid insurance and registration before turning on the pumps. Automatic license plate recognition is already in place at thousands of British fueling stations, acting as a deterrent to driving off without paying. The new measure would be as simple as allowing the systems to cross-reference databases of the national Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, according to the report.
One in 25 drivers in the UK are uninsured, according to The Mirror – some 1.4 million motorists. While the report calls this rate "one of the worst records in western Europe," it's still far better than our nearby neighbours in the United States.
According to data from 2009, published by USA Today, nearly 14 percent of U.S. drivers, or one in seven, has no insurance. In that report, the south stood atop the list of U.S. states with the highest rates of uninsured drivers, with Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahama and Alabama all topping 20 percent.
What do you think about this initiative? Is it it a good idea or a bad one? Would you welcome similar legislation here in Canada? Tell us and feel free to leave your thoughts in Comments.