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