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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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‘Motorcycle detection system’ on roads by Easter (UK)

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From Motorcycle News

‘Motorcycle detection system’ on roads by Easter

By Steve Farrell
Politics & the law
17 February 2009 11:53

A new surveillance system designed to track movements of motorcyclists on the roads will be operational by Easter, MCN can reveal.

The technology can tell motorcycles apart from other vehicles, measure their speeds and will be able to read number plates under plans. Data such as the routes taken by individual motorcyclists along with time and date will be collected and kept even if they have committed no offence.

The £100,000 project has prompted civil rights groups to express grave concerns about the potential for invasion of motorcyclists’ privacy.

Speed camera bossed behind the scheme have named it the ‘motorcycle data project’ and the equipment a ‘motorcycle detection system’.

It will scrutinise movements of motorcyclists in particular and be switched on to coincide with the start of the riding season in April, they say.

The new surveillance system has been installed on eight routes in Derbyshire by the region’s speed camera partnership, including the popular Cat & Fiddle run on the A54 and A537 near Buxton.

Under-road sensors already in place will distinguish motorcycles from other vehicles by their weight and width. Speed will be measured by timing their progress between two sensors a short distance apart. The system has been designed to work alongside Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and video cameras.

A spokeswoman for the scheme said knowing where riders were from would allow road safety ads to target key areas, for example through local newspapers.
But Isabella Sankey, Director of Policy for the civil rights group Liberty, said: “The road to massive-scale real-time surveillance is paved with good intentions. We understand the safety issues involved but it rings alarm bells that this information may be used for targeted advertising campaigns.
"We have no problem with ANPR being used to locate vehicles whose owners the police firmly suspect of having committed an offence but it shouldn't be used as a tool of mass surveillance.”
The Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership said the aim was to “gather intelligence” to “prevent motorcycle casualties” through measures such as speed warning signs, extra police patrols and safer roadside barriers.

Partnership manager Robert Hill said he hoped to add ANPR cameras in order to work out “how these vehicles are travelling around”.

He said there were no plans to use the data for enforcement but admitted it could be used as evidence. “If the police are aware that it’s there then they would want to look at it and then obviously there are issues about whether they would want to use it as evidence,” he added.

Hill said the eight routes had been chosen to target motorcyclists. “The data will be collected on all vehicles equally on those routes. However in terms of the analysis of that data we’re going to pay particular attention to motorcycles,” he said.
“That’s why they’re on those routes. We haven’t got a traffic management issue on those routes with any other vehicles that we’re aware of.
"Why they’ve gone there is because we know there’s a casualty problem with motorcycles on those routes.

“There will be concerns about data collection but ultimately the data we are collecting on this project is around casualty reduction.”

The system has been installed on the:
• A5012 from Cromford to Ivonbrook Quarry
• A621 from Baslow to Owler Bar
• A57 Snake Pass from Glossop outskirts to Nether North Grain
• B5035 from Ashbourne outskirts to Wirksworth
• A515 from Ashbourne to Alsop-en-le-Dale
• A6 Matlock Bath from High Peak Junction to Artist’s Corner
• A54 and A537 Cat & Fiddle run from Buxton to Cat & Fiddle pub
• A5004 Long Hill from Buxton to Fernilee

Maps of all eight routes can be found in a ‘Bikers’ Guide’ printed by the council. Download it here.

MCN first revealed plans for the new surveillance technology last year when a notice appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting technology firms to bid for a contract to provide ‘automatic motorcycle detection equipment and associated services’.
That notice made clear it should be possible for video cameras to be added. It said: ‘The Contract is for the supply of equipment and services in order to accurately detect motorcycles and to facilitate the automatic operation of Variable Message Signs (VMS), Video Data Capture (VDC) and a further potential option of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). A fundamental part of this project is the accurate detection of motorcyclists and the user defined triggering of VMS, VDC and ANPR.’
Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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C*NTS.

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  #3  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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the purpose of such a system totally escapes me...i don't get it?? why would they want/need to track motorcyles? what about delivery vans, hybrid vehicles, or 1960s era VW beetles? the safety aspect sounds ridiculous, as you could probably ask any local policeman or ambulance crew member and get the same information...

Last edited by motoreiter; 24 Feb 2009 at 06:56.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
the purpose of such a system totally escapes me...i don't get i?? why would they want/need to track motorcyles? what about delivery vans, hybrid vehicles, or 1960s era VW beetles? the safety aspect sounds ridiculous, as you could probably ask any local policeman or ambulance crew member and get the same information...
exactly... it is prejudicial persecution, hence the tone of my initial reply.

Just because the technology is there and it's feasible doesn't mean they should do it... but then there is a lot of money in government contracts...

Surely if the sensors can detact a motorcycle, that ought to be enough for gathering 'statistics' - why the hell should they also record your numberplate, eh?

CCTV, Speed Cameras, National Databases... none of these things significantly curb criminal activity, or make the world a safer place - they are mearly used to control and oppress the innocent who comply... and we let this happen time and time again...

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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
Surely if the sensors can detact a motorcycle, that ought to be enough for gathering 'statistics' - why the hell should they also record your numberplate, eh?
Simply because it has nothing to do with statistic gathering. Although our government is pretty much obsessed with statistics even though time and time again their statistics are proven wrong or inadequate.

What baffles me completely is that they are currently trying to push through a plan to put GPS devices in all vehicles for their tax by road plan. So why do you need sensors in specific locations when every vehicle will be monitored 100%

Seems to me like it is a stop gap, a small little step so that when it comes to getting the GPS thing confirmed they can say: "Well you know it isn't so different from what we do already so what is the big deal"

Summer of Rage this year huh? Maybe we can add one more thing to rage about. A huge organised vehicle protest on the streets of Britain. Not just bikes but cars and trucks too. Everyone who owns a vehicle is getting screwed slowly up the ass and we're doing nothing about it!
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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So lets get out there, rip the things out of the ground and throw the bits at any passing coppers until they have to call the army out. Trouble is, if you do, the great British public will be happy when you get thrown in jail and every politician in the country will rally round saying how much we love the cameras and then go off to develop a sex detecting radar so they can tax that as well.

We get the government we deserve.

Andy
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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At the moment this has got to be to expensive to be opened out beyond a trial area, more so with the current way the country is bleeding money. That said lets look at why someone somewhere in Government feels its cost effective and worth the bother - so start by looking at the percieved problem - On sunny sundays the part timers pour out of there wet weather hideaways dragging with them the latest model of race bike wearing the latest designer leather, helmet, sunglasses the loudest pipe on the bike and sandpapered off tyres edges and knee scrapers - they then ride without care for themselves or anyone else making loads of noise, racing everyother race rep on the already crowded roads pushing in overtakes on blind bends and summits cross over solid white lines and generally being arses. After the 30 mile blast a pose at some local coffee shop they go back the other way. The roads they use are often practiced like a race track so they feel they know every bit of the road (Thus the reason certain roads are targeted) often they push too hard and crash often badly - at huge costs to the NHS, and emergancy services not to mention the innocent person coming the other way - someone then has to pick up the pieces and go tell wife , kids mother, father your son /husband etc is dead / maimed. These riders bring about the complaints from the public and as a result the policing and Legislation which we percieve as predjudice. In actual fact policing is target led without a target its a non starter - this is simply targeting a problem just like that of Boy racers and drunks in city centres. ( where I live the boy racers in cars run a section of bendy road north of my village and there are crashes every week - sooner or later when they come round the bend backwards, sideways or just on the wrong side of the road they may take me or my son out as we ride to / from town its a real problem) The sooner these part time summer racers/riders went to a race track and payed for the track day then the motorcyclist in general would not be a viable /cost effective target for the government to focus on.
I am not saying not to ride with passion or quickly but there are places where its to obvious and too dangerous or inconsiderate - Sorry to sound so sensible but I see these arses out at weekends cutting me and everyone else up over the summer days they do bring the result of their actions onto all of us.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
...often they push too hard and crash often badly - at huge costs to the NHS, and emergancy services not to mention the innocent person coming the other way - someone then has to pick up the pieces and go tell wife , kids mother, father your son /husband etc is dead / maimed. These riders bring about the complaints from the public and as a result policing and Legislation which we percieve as predjudice. In actual fact is targeting a problem just like that of Boy racers and drunks in city centres.
But how does monitoring them help the situation? It seems like a more robust police presence on these roads would be a better way of reducing the types of accidents that you're describing.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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(Moto reiter if you have not been back to the UK in recent years you may not know of these nutters sometimes riding /racing in large groups travelling at spedds over 120/130mph sometimes a lot faster on short straight bursts on roads where 50/60 mph is the limit.)
However I have to agree ideally policing would be a better solution - but if the monitering brings up a time/day proven pattern then the very limited police traffic resources will be targeted at specific times and places. Also these systems will no doubt be cross matched to an enforcement system so the problem rider can be prosecuted entirely by the monitering system - with no police involved (Very bad in my opinion as there is no discretion or common sense applied by a machine)this is already happening to cars, vans , lorries but bikes so far have remained 'invisable' to the detection equipment.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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I think the most worrying aspect of this is the implicit suggestion that biker=dangerous. By being singled out from other motorists they are lumping bikers together as homogenous unit.

I, personally, have no difficulty with speed cameras. This, however, is in a different league. What are the bets that the 'data' collected on these fast routes popular with sports bikers will 'prove' that bikers go too fast and have accidents? Therefore, bikers should clearly pay more vehicle tax...

It's yet another example of the government monitoring our (and by 'our' I mean everyone, not just bikers) every move. Little did I think, when Tony came into office, that I'd spend the next decade and a half watching my personal freedoms curtailed, my country's troops forced to fight an illegal war and the labour government encouraging exactly the same kind of corporate greed that Thatcher's minions believed in.

My only consolation is that I didn't vote for the xxxxxxs!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Matt, it was obvious from the start that 'Tony' was always able to turn in his own skin, I think Stalin looked more honest; and now ye gads - we have an accountant running the show - no wonder the countries on its knees.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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A couple of years ago I spoke to a police officer on a police bike. I offered that I ride a '79 Le Mans. His reply, "We're not interested in guys like you". I read that in Sussex, a couple of years ago there were 5 things in common in fatal one bike crashes. Male, about 38-58 years old, Sunday afternoon, summer, race replica bike. I have my own answer to the situation. Sorry to be enigmatic but the answers left are not legal. Linzi, I am not a number.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
Matt, it was obvious from the start that 'Tony' was always able to turn in his own skin, I think Stalin looked more honest; and now ye gads - we have an accountant running the show - no wonder the countries on its knees.
I have to say, I never saw it. I didn't vote for him, but I did think "Well, he's got to be better than the status quo..." How wrong I was!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Liberal

Hi Matt I'd say get a copy of Taking Liberties book, by Chris Atkins, £I5 from amazon. Essential reading I think. Linzi.
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
I, personally, have no difficulty with speed cameras. This, however, is in a different league. What are the bets that the 'data' collected on these fast routes popular with sports bikers will 'prove' that bikers go too fast and have accidents? Therefore, bikers should clearly pay more vehicle tax...
Matt
And then of course the insurance companies will demand access to the data so that they can charge "appropriate" rates or even deny coverage to people who ride too fast (even if they don't get in accidents).

Adventure950, I am not from the UK and have never experienced the groups that you describe. Nonetheless, I am sure that you don't need a highly intrusive monitoring system to "brings up a time/day proven pattern"--maybe try weekends? I mean, it's just not that complicated...
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