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B.C. Police Testing Long-Range Scopes for Catching Distracted Drivers

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As part of an Insurance Corp. of B.C. (ICBC) pilot project, the B.C. police department has been handed over two Laser Technology TruSpeed Sxb scopes worth $17,000, with are capable of capturing a high-quality photograph of someone using a cellphone from a range of up to 610 metres, the Times Colonist is reporting.

Distracted

The pilot project is part of a suite of measures the B.C. government has undertaken to impose higher fines on bad drivers in an effort to reduce crash claims at ICBC. The new long-range scopes can be paired with a bracket to connect to a smartphone for capturing high resolution photos of distracted drivers.

According to ICBC spokeswoman Joanna Linsangan, the photos could be used in court to uphold a ticket and “potentially deter people from disputing a ticket in the first place”. She however added that officers will send offending drivers off with a warning instead of a ticket during the test.

It’s not always possible to photograph a cellphone-wielding driver, Dunstan said, and he’s concerned the new technology will prompt judges to expect photographic evidence when a ticket is disputed. “If I say I saw a gentleman without a seat belt, it’s disputable by the driver but it should carry some weight [in court] because I’m a sworn officer, I’m sworn to tell the truth.”

The police officers however say the high price tag would make it difficult to roll out the technology across the province.

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