Motorists beware - a Midlands company has invented a vandal-proof speed camera that needs no film and issues tickets within half-an-hour.
The £50,000 digital camera, which has been created by RedSpeed International Limited in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, is sited on the top of a 16ft pole and is guaranteed to be working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
And because it uses the same digital technology as in most modern consumer cameras, there is no need for film to be developed by technicians. Instead, electronic images are sent via high-speed broadband phone links to authorities who can then issue penalty notices within minutes of the offence taking place.
Unlike the current Gatso speed camera, which sends out a radar beam to measure a car's speed over a set distance, the new product uses sensors under the road. The cameras are calibrated to catch drivers at or above police guidelines and the Highways Agency wants to use the cameras on motorways including the M5 contraflow near Bristol and the M6 Grayrigg works south of Penrith, Cumbria.
Transport for London is also installing 66 of the cameras and is poised to order more.
'Captain Gatso', the campaign director for protest group Motorists Against Detection, said speed camera operators are "clearly trying to burn money before the end of the financial year".