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A new speed camera that can detect up to five motoring offences is being tested in Finland.

The ‘Asset’ device catches speeding motorists, checks out-of-date tax discs, uses number plate recognition to check insurance, and measures car distances to detect tailgating.

It also picks out drivers who are not wearing seatbelts, although there is no word on whether it can detect motorists listening to Bros: The Hits, or indeed 2 Unlimited; crimes both punishable by a spell in the Tower.

The super-cam is being bankrolled by the European Commission, and developed by a number of European universities and research institutes.

An AA spokesman said: “Tailgating is more dangerous in most cases than speeding, so I think motorists would welcome it. But it needs to be done as a safety measure, not as a money-making machine.”

Campaign group Speed Cameras Dot Org said: “The main actions that cause the most accidents, namely not paying attention to the road, misjudging distances and other drivers’ intentions, cannot be detected by a device of any sort. More police patrols and better driver education are the only ways to reduce accidents.”

In other news, Oxfordshire County Council is actually turning its speed camera network back on, after a brief, idyllic period from 1 August when it had none at all. Ill-informed speculation would have it that the local authority is broke.

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