Smart traffic cameras to be linked up in one database!

Belgium's federal police have unveiled plans to link up smart traffic cameras across the land. Police spokesman Marc Hellinckx says that only by using one database will the system become really interesting.

Several police districts are already equipped with smart traffic cameras that use ANPR, Automatic Number Plate Recognition. All vehicles that pass are scanned and the computer then checks that they do not feature on the wanted list. In this way stolen and uninsured cars can be tracked down.

The cameras enhance traffic safety as they are used by the SPECS speed camera system that checks average speed over a stretch of road. In addition, they can be used to combat crime. This only becomes possible when the smart cameras are linked up. Today wanted vehicles are scanned in certain police zones, but because the databanks are not linked up police officers are unaware that the car is on the wanted list.

The cameras are not supposed to infringe your privacy. You only end up in the databank when you are wanted and vehicles are not followed by the cameras from one district to another.

A pilot project is now being set up in Antwerp. Practically all police districts are today investing in smart traffic cameras and that is a costly affair. A mobile camera can cost 40,000 euros while a fixed one sets you back 100,000 euros.