Tyre cameras revealed

29 Sep, 2011 2:56pm Nick Gibbs

Shock over tyre scanner built into the road that is set to fine motorists with insufficient tread

It looks like nothing more than a grate on the road, but the device in this picture is a sophisticated scanner that detects illegal tread depths as vehicles pass by. And it could be the British police’s new speed camera.

The set-up uses a combination of high-speed cameras and lasers to accurately measure the depth of each tyre groove, and sounds a warning if the central 75 per cent of the tyre has less than 1.6mm of tread.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) confirmed that its advisor on road policing enforcement technology, Trevor Hall, had seen the 50,000 Euro (£43,000) device on a visit to maker ProContour in Germany.

Hall is a well known advocate of speed cameras, and formerly ran the Essex Safety Camera Partnership. He also advises the Home Office on approving technology for police use. Florian Hitzler, ProContour marketing director, said of Hall’s visit: “He was quite excited.”

An ACPO spokesman told Auto Express that evidence from the scanner wouldn’t initially result in points. “It would be used as a screening tool, with 
a checkpoint beyond,” he said.

However, motoring groups are concerned about police targeting drivers with the technology.Adrian Tink of the RAC said: “Should this be a priority when resources are limited? £43,000 could fill a lot of potholes, and issues such as drink-driving or driving while using a mobile are more important.

“Anything that improves safety is welcome. But motorists are going to be left scratching their heads if they start getting fines or points for their tyres.”

Another money maker?
Mike Rutherford
So, the ACPO man can hardly contain his enthusiasm for a device to detect worn tyres. But is he “excited” because it reduces accidents, or at the prospect of millions in fines? Maybe he’s excited that this device means less real police work and more pen pushing.

Speed isn’t and never was the biggest killer. But that didn’t stop the invasion of speed cameras, which are more about money making than accident reduction.

Dodgy tyres are far from the top road safety priority. But that’s not the point. The point is that our ‘law enforcers’ may decide that the machines will pay for themselves several times over, by fining drivers who breach tyre laws that they know little about.

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It is everyones responsibility to go out each night and smash a roadside camera, this is just getting pathetic and the Government will just keep on going until people say enough is enough. Utility bills, shopping bills, transport bills are getting higher and higher and salarys are not keeping up. The people have been squeezed enough and its time people in the whole of the UK stood up and said enough was enough!!!! This just pisses me off!!! (And Im this pissed and I dont even live in the UK anymore because I got so fed up with being raped by bills every month, moved to another country where salarys are higher and bills are lower with the added bonus of sunshine 300 days of the year, best move I ever made)

Seems like a good idea to me if it either reduces accidents or gets the idiots with illegal tyres off the road.

And the number of accidents caused by there being

And the number of accidents caused by there being

This absolutely ridiculous... These pricks are just trying to make money out of us in every single way they can! insane!

Trevor Hall has made money from speed cameras, which the authorities and experts (Highways Agency, TRL and Prof Allsop) now admit cause more accidents than they could ever prevent.
He also makes money from RSS (Road Safety Support (sic)) an organisation whose sole aim is to ensure innocent drivers are prosecuted when the speed camera, or the operator, or other evidence is weak (they act as supposedly independent witnesses but are paid by the prosecution).
If Hall is excited, it is because he can see pound signs before his eyes.
He is unsuitable to advise anyone - especially government departments.

Give us a break politicians! Isn't life hard enough and complicated for motorists as it is!

Why don't they just kill everyone at birth? It'd make the roads safer and I'm sure they could find some pretext in our DNA as to why we're all career criminals bent on violating every technical specification there is. Imagine the public money that would be saved!

Lets be clear about this, its "ACPO LIMITED" they are not a govenment body, they are a business run by very highly paid present and ex police officers.......this would be considered corruption if it were to take place in Iraq! pot, kettle and black comes to mind!

This is a brilliant idea! It could be adapted to activate a "stinger" to bring the car with the warn tread to a juddering halt, AND trash the tyres at the same time! Add in little pop-up cameras to check the sidewalls for cuts, and at the same time read the age of the tyre and activate the system if problems are found. It could also check for worn shock absorbers and broken springs. Coupled with those yellow "Revenue Cameras", they could be onto a right money-spinner. The dark patch on TH's trousers is growing.

Anyone spot the serious flaw? The device can check only a few inches of the 60" or so circumference of the tyre.

Technology has come a long way since IBM sold the Nazis punched cards to use to identify those whom they wanted to arrest in occupied Europe but the principle remains the same - mad scientists dream up equipment without the slightest regard to how it will be used by increasingly totalitarian authorities. They want locking up before we all are.

If Trevor Hall ran Essex Road Safety (sic) Partnership he was probably the man who gave a 30 minute speech at a Rospa conference in Feb 2009 on the supposedly excellent results he had achieved at Essex camera sites - without apparently being aware that on the other 97% of Essex roads they had one of the worst records in the entire country!

This was a man who clearly had no understanding whatever of statistics or accidents or in this case not only that the contribution of worn tyres - irrelevant in any case in the dry - to accidents is quite small, and probably smaller than the contrution of more insidious and more difficult to spot tyre damage caused by pot holes and speed humps.

About 4 years ago I was about to set off on a 250 mile drive when I noticed that one tyre looked down. It had to be thrown away and replaced because of inner side-wall lacerations caused by running into a deep pot hole the previous night.

It's time to remove such people from road safety policy making where they are real and present danger to the travelling public

Another £43,000 wasted that could be used to repair potholed roads and remove speed humps that damage our tyres.

I wonder how vandal resistant they are?

About time ACPO plc was put out of business.

Nobody lets their tyres get down to the limit for fun, Britains poorly kept roads are costing each of us hundreds of pounds in Tyres, suspension and fuel economy already!!

...this is another way of scareing you into spending out on tyres much earlier than needed to avoid fine which is an environmental issue itself. also what happens if a new trye goes over it with a sticker on, or the grooves have stones or dirt in?
also in dry weather grooved tyres have LESS grip than completely slick (smooth/ bald) tyres

Cyeber has the right idea, this country has gone to pot, sucked dry by every parasite that get their teeth into us :-(

Every couple of minutes I pass a car where the driver is using a mobile phone. I know that sometimes drivers are caught and fined for it but nowhere near as often as they ought to be. This is a far greater danger to other road users and pedestrians than a marginally worn tyre. They don;'t have any equipment to use for this save for the occasional working speed camera which takes an oncoming vehicle photograph.
Bald tyres are dangerous too, I know that. I make no excuse for using them but hey.... priorities please. This cosy little bunch of renegade ex cops are using their former position in police circles to gain financial benefits and care little for road safety or even non discriminatory evidence giving as expert witnesses they get involved with. Anyway, how in hell's name does Medd Hughes who was a chief constable at the time of the formation of RSS Ltd become the managing director of the company whilst still in police employment. I can see any of his officers or other police staff doing the same thing with his permission, can't you?

and a big waste of cash that will not save lives... better idea would be to change the tyre tread required to pass a MOT to 2mm but keep the legal limit at 1 .5

Personally, I think it's about time this aspect of car maintenance is more strongly scrutinised. I sometimes find the naivety of people quite startling, think about your car, it’s a ton or so of metal travelling at fairly high speed and one and only thing that keeps that vehicle stuck the road (with the help of some basic physical laws) is your tyres. I'm dismayed when in motorway service stations etc... you walk around to see how many cars have either bold or highly unevenly warn tyres, and their owners seem totally nonplussed about the physical ramifications this can cause. I don't know about you but I’d rather have such a system in place and not have some moron who doesn’t understand basic physics ploughing into the back of my car because he or she was too ignorant to properly maintain it! Any argument about money is puerile at best, if you have a car it’s your responsibility to maintain it, to at least the minimum standard laid down by the law (which personally I think is somewhat lax in a number of areas and badly policed in others!) Remember a car is a privilege not a right and if you can’t afford to look after your car then don’t have one, or stop spending all your money on Stella and cigarettes!

Also all the other posts with the torrent of conspiracist twaddle, I think you need to get a grip, speed cameras may make money, I’m not sure as I’ve never myself studied the data and generally other people will skew the findings to suit their own argument so that’s not something I’m going to argue, but at the end of the day they’re bright yellow and the giant signs with the numbers in them dotted around the roads tell you the speed limit, so it’s not a difficult one to avoid! People constantly argue about “Nanny States” etc… the reason this has to be the case is due to the fact that 99% of the populous spends more time thinking about who’s going to win x-factor than they do about the important things in life, so really you should be thankful that these incentives exist and people are watching over our shoulder, otherwise life as we know it would ground to a bloody halt!

Maybe if the roads weren't in such a poor condition, the accident rates would be much lower! But that would involve money (maybe given as aid to other countries) being used on our roads, and we can't have that now can we????

Sometimes, actually, most of the time, it seems that logic is thrown out of the window when it comes to making decisions

It seems to me that people will spot these things in the road and pull across the road to avoid them and possibly hit vehicles coming the other way. Just how vandal proof will they be? It would be a matter of seconds to put one out of action with a bit of Gaff tape.

Not may peopel realise it, but APCO is a private business run for profit by the Police Inc. top brass.
They want these so they can line their own pockets with the procurement and contracts.

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