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UK Plan Would Use CCTV To Stop Uninsured Drivers From Refueling

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-you-don't-see-the-problem-you're-the-problem dept.

Government 691

Mr_Blank writes "Cameras at UK petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured or untaxed vehicles from being filled with fuel, under new government plans. Downing Street officials hope the hi-tech system will crack down on the 1.4 million motorists who drive without insurance. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are already fitted in thousands of petrol station forecourts. Drivers can only fill their cars with fuel once the camera has captured and logged the vehicle's number plate. Currently the system is designed to deter motorists from driving off without paying for petrol. But under the new plans, the cameras will automatically cross-refererence with the DVLA's huge database."

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ground effects lighting (3, Interesting)

nten (709128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363497)

what are the laws in the UK on nearband IR ground effects lighting?

Re:ground effects lighting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363607)

They are not restricted at all as far as I am aware

Re:ground effects lighting (4, Informative)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363675)

I assume you want to block the ANPR.

Drivers can only fill their cars with fuel once the camera has captured and logged the vehicle's number plate.

Way to RTFA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363725)

...you moron. In the freakin' SUMMARY it says that the pump won't allow gas to be dispensed until after it reads and logs the license plate.

Re:Way to RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363983)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you be a dick.

Re:Way to RTFA... (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364007)

Slashdot won't let you post until it verifies you haven't RTFA.

Re:ground effects lighting (4, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363769)

Why put so much effort into getting around the system rather than voting the douchebags that come up with this stuff out of office and taking your government back?

Comment not limited to the Brits. The US government needs a good housecleaning as well.

Re:ground effects lighting (5, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363865)

Add Canadians to the list.

We are currently going through our "Bush" phase.

Re:ground effects lighting (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364023)

The law is the law - you must have insurance in your EU or US state. Whether that law is enforced with human eyes or camera eyes really makes no difference (IMHO). I have to waste ~$300 a year to insure other drivers & their cars in case I hit them..... I don't see why anyone else thinks they shouldn't have to pay the bill too.

Re:ground effects lighting (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364039)

Why so much hate?

The ANPR system is already widespread in the UK (although the headline seems to suggest this is new, it is not).

At gas stations it is generally used to catch bilking after the fact (ie, once the drive off has already happened), and is used elsewhere (eg, in police vehicles and on static cameras that watch the main motorway routes) to catch uninsured and untaxed drivers.

The overwhelming majority of fuel theft (in the form of drive offs) is committed by uninsured drivers, and adding a further obstacle to keep the dickheads off the road in the first place can only be a benefit.

At present the DVLA's database is not perfect so as it stands there would be a small but non-trivial number of false positives (too high for a system that prevents fuelling as a binary choice) but it is very easy to correct genuine mistakes. It might even be beneficial for those who are flagged incorrectly in the DB since they would have a chance to sort it out (reporting correct details to the DVLA and making sure your insurance is valid is *your* responsibility) before being pulled over by a police interceptor while you're on the motorway or something (thus wasting both your and the police's time sorting out the mistake).

Let's not paint this as a "the government can't tell me what to do! freedom! rah!" issue - there is no "right" to drive a car, and you have no innate "right" to buy fuel for it from a private business that specialises in selling such flammable liquids to the public. If you're driving around uninsured then, honestly, fuck you - get your uninsured pile of shit off the public road so you don't crash into someone and cause them all manner of headaches because you *are not insured*.

Re:ground effects lighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363813)

Who knows, but they should be illegal on the grounds of bad taste.

gas can (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363503)

Its gonna look strange when a man carries his gas can up to the pump everyday wearing a suit and tie.

Re:gas can (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363681)

And what about vehicles with foreign plates?

What can possibly go wrong?

Re:gas can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363749)

The UK is an island to the rest of the world, how are you getting your foreign car there? you know they drive on the opposite side as most of the rest of the world too right?

Re:gas can (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363883)

Hovercraft, ferries or eurotunnel (trains with car shuttle wagons) - just being an island doesn't mean cars don't transfer in both directions.

Re:gas can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363913)

There are these things called ferries, and there's a train tunnel from France. You and your car travel to UK on board either.

Re:gas can (4, Informative)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363931)

The UK is an island to the rest of the world, how are you getting your foreign car there? you know they drive on the opposite side as most of the rest of the world too right?

I have seen Hawaii license plates in Texas. How do you think those cars got here? Freight ships carry more than just toys and bananas. Also, you are forgetting about the Chunnel [wikipedia.org]

Re:gas can (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39364021)

There's now a Chunnel from Hawaii to Texas?!? Holy WhereTheHellHaveIBeen? Batman.

Re:gas can (2, Funny)

andy.ruddock (821066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364041)

We've had ferries for years, and there's the channel tunnel as well.

Re:gas can (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363935)

And what about vehicles with foreign plates?

You can't own a car with foreign plates when you are a resident in the UK except for a short time. And if the police sees right hand drive with foreign plates I suspect they will be very, very suspicious.

Since the problem is 2 million British residents driving without insurance, non-residents with foreign cars are a minor problem. They can also be checked quite easily when entering the country.

Riiiight (5, Insightful)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363507)

What's to stop someone from filling a jerry can with gas and then fuelling their car, or can lawnmower and chainsaw operators no longer buy gas?

Re:Riiiight (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363529)

Inconvenience.

Re:Riiiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363593)

Why not just put a 100 gallon tank [jmesales.com] on a small pickup and refuel every two months?

Re:Riiiight (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363629)

If you can afford to spend 500 dollars on a giant petrol tank, you can afford the vehicle insurance.

Re:Riiiight (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363683)

Have you priced a couple of used steel 55 gallon drums, some gas hose and a little creative backyard welding against annual auto insurance lately? The tank idea is much cheaper.

Re:Riiiight (2)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363799)

No, I haven't, have you? I pay about $500 a year for full coverage; it would be half that for liability-only insurance. Are you saying all that custom welding and effort is less than a couple years' worth of insurance? Make sure to factor in the inconvenience ("effort").

Re:Riiiight (1, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363743)

$500 one-time to save $500-$1k per car per year (if you're lucky)? One giant petrol tank please!

Re:Riiiight (5, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363919)

Makes you think, you could make good money as a fuel reseller with a pickup truck modified to act as a stealth fuel truck. Charge a delivery fee on top of the gas price (or get creative if you're an evil bastard...poor people are easy to screw for extra cash, ask telecoms) and you're set.

I'd say put a turtle top with blacked-out windows on the pickup, hiding a massive fuel tank (use a Serious Business pickup with plenty of hauling power like a Hilux or Dodge 3500). Set up en electric fuel pump that fills the carrying tank from the vehicle's stock tank, and a pump coming from the carrier tank to fill vehicles with. To take on massive amounts of fuel discreetly, transfer most fuel from stock tank to carrier tank, fill up, drive to next gas station and repeat. Maybe run the transfer pump for a set amount of time during fill-up to take an extra 10gal of gas or something, and say you "got the extended tank option" if anybody asks.

Re:Riiiight (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363559)

or can lawnmower and chainsaw operators no longer buy gas?

Taxation of lawn mowers that aren't electric, pushed as an emission control measure.

Re:Riiiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363613)

far easier to get an older diesel car and run it on heating oil with a touch of oil added! with only 5% vat it'll be far cheaper too!

Re:Riiiight (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363623)

An Arkansas credit card [urbandictionary.com] ?
I'm sure you folks in the UK have a locale suitable to this definition.

Re:Riiiight (1)

trnk (1887028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363833)

I'd go with the Salford credit card, but that's because I'm an elitist Londoner.

Re:Riiiight (5, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363649)

Why is it that geeks always need something to be flawless before they find it worth consideration?

If the worst this system produces is people using gas cans, it's a victory. There will be people who will find the inconvenience enough incentive to get their insurance which is exactly the goal. Since the technology is largely already there, the database check shouldn't be a significant additional cost. (Who knows with government mandates though.)

If there is a reason to oppose this it would be the fears of Big Brother and the ability of government to know almost exactly where you are every moment you are in country. Still, with due respect to our British friends, it seems like that ship sailed a while ago. If they're (going to be) doing it, it won't require this program.

Re:Riiiight (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363937)

No, because if people have no money and it's careless enough to not pay insurance/taxes/etc. Then probably will carry the can and who knows what's the next accident waiting to happen.

It needs to be taken into consideration, because if you put a rule in place there will be a couple of people trying to bypass it and the consequences of the "bypass" need to be carefully analyzed. Such as black markets, and/or reckless people carrying flammable products around.

Re:Riiiight (-1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363957)

"Why is it that geeks always need something to be flawless before they find it worth consideration?"

They don't. They're simply using the childish tactic of attacking a proposal with any nonsense they can muster.

Re:Riiiight (2)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363875)

What's to stop someone from filling a jerry can with gas and then fuelling their car, or can lawnmower and chainsaw operators no longer buy gas?

The only people effected by this at all are people walking to the gas station to go buy gas, everyone else will drive there. The real question that should be asked is why the hell should private businesses be compelled to install these. I can't believe the UK doesn't have any protections, what's next forcing gas stations to administer glucose tests to customers if they want to buy junk food.

Required insurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363521)

This is a requirement in the state I live in too--and the only thing I can think about is how much money the insurance companies are making off of this. Why not, politics and bureaucracy aside, make the "mandatory" insurance something you pay with your vehicle registration?

Also an obligatory snicker at more cameras at use in the UK.

Can't put politics and bureaucracy aside (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363585)

Why not, politics and bureaucracy aside, make the "mandatory" insurance something you pay with your vehicle registration?

Because large companies and trade associations in the private sector who have successfully captured the regulators [wikipedia.org] find it unprofitable to put "politics and bureaucracy aside". For another, there'd still be tons of "politics and bureaucracy" in figuring out the premium that applies to each driver-vehicle pair.

Re:Can't put politics and bureaucracy aside (2)

kraut (2788) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363873)

Actually, in the UK you do need proof of insurance (and MOT) to get your car tax disk.

But guess what, the people who don't bother with insurance don't usually worry about the tax disk either. Nor a driving license, quite frequently.

There's a simple solution: Use the ANPR for regular spot checks. Make an example of people who are uninsured - sell their car, fine them heavily, lock up repeat offenders or anyone driving while banned.

The 90% of people who are insured will benefit from less traffic, and fewer accidents.

Doesn't sound workable to me (5, Insightful)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363527)

This would work just fine if the database was correct, which it simply isn't. Delays in getting information updated would mean you having a fully licenses, taxes, MOTed, and insured car that you couldn't fill up with petrol. So there'd need to be a way of overriding it, which puts a whole lot of pressure on the vendor.

Nice in theory, but I don't see it working. That doesn't mean I don't see it happening.

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363639)

It's not that difficult. As long as the only way to issue a tax disc is by entering details into the database, there can't be delays on entering the info - or the delay is you leaving it too late to renew, so (from the perspective of HMG) tough. If they check insurance as part of the tax disc process then that's covered... this is really trivial stuff, have you ever worked in a company that uses computers?

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (2)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363821)

Ah, but I can get a tax disc and then cancel my insurance. Or I can not pay so it's invalidated. Or I can cancel it but then reapply for insurance from another company and one company being faster to report it to the DVLA than the other means I'm insured but the DVLA think I'm not. Trust me, their records aren't 100% accurate. In the past I was under no obligation to inform the DVLA when the car was off the road (SORN) so they couldn't be sure whether it was valid me having the car uninsured. Fixing that loophole made quite a big difference in itself, as it means any car owner who hasn't got a SORN and doesn't have insurance *is* breaking the law. Unless you claim you've just sold it and you've only just posted the forms off...

You might think it's trivial, but the way it's setup at the minute, it really isn't. Equally you blame the driver here for being late renewing. If I've got insurance that runs out just before my tax disc, I can't get my new tax disc with the old insurance (because the DVLA reject it as invalid is it's nearly expired), but the new insurance details can't be entered on the DVLA site until they're valid. Is that my fault for being last minute?

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363741)

How about cars from France and elsewhere?

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (1)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363835)

We already give foreigners a cushty ride on driving penalties, I don't imagine this will be any different.

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363927)

I used to get pulled over a lot. Once a week was normal. I was young, had a job that paid twice as much as my peers, and I owned a sports car. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Which is why, after playing twenty questions, I had the opportunity to produce my documents, at a police station of my choice, within 7 days. They were known as "producers" by us all. The reason for the seven days is exactly the reason your state: delays in updating the DVLA database.

Sometimes I had no tax disk on display (also against the law here) and all police officers let it slide on the understanding I'd fix the problem before the DVLA received their report.

To balance things, I've also been 'done' for no tax. MOT and insurance. I thought I could get way with it as "10% of drivers in the UK" do the same. I was wrong. It only took 2 months to catch me. £550 fine, 5 points, ouch.

Forget false plates, they stick out like a vicar in a tutu. A black marker pen and a bottle of white spirits is all you need. Change an "L" to an "E" and wipe it off around the corner.

They should target the drink drivers, increase the tax on fuel, stop the car tax and have a national fund for insurance. Everyone pays then. The more you drive, the more you pay.

Re:Doesn't sound workable to me (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364037)

Even if the database was correct, I'm not sure it'd be workable. As one of the comments rightly pointed out, the legal requirement is that the driver must be insured to drive that car. There are I believe circumstances involving the used car trade where it's entirely legal for someone to drive a car on public roads even though it's not specifically named on any insurance policy and therefore not listed in the national database as being insured, because the driver is still insured to drive it under their motor trade policy.

Gee, why not just send the police then (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363531)

if your going to be a police state then by all means do it right.

I guess they will need a black market for gasoline as well. Do they have seat belt laws? Baby seat laws? Why stop at not letting gas up because of lack of insurance. There are all so many wonderfully invasive things they can do.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363619)

Because that's expensive. Seriously. If they could have police everywhere, they'd not have uninsured cars on the road.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363783)

Because they'd all be driving police cars?

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364047)

This is why laws need to be revised with changes in technology. What's expensive today is dirt-cheap and everywhere tomorrow. I'm sure the idea of having a policeman with ability to instantly recognize and communicate license plate numbers in a crow's nest on every lamppost seemed insane just a few decades ago.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363701)

The UK is on some islands and it only has one land border, it's very hard to get any meaningful amount of fuel in.

Uninsured drivers are causing the rest of us who abide by the law to pay a fortune in increased premiums.

As to your other questions:
Do they have seat belt laws? Yes - it's illegal to be on a public highway without wearing a seatbelt. Why? It stops you becoming a 60mph projectile when you hit something.
Baby seat laws? Yes - it's illegal to carry a baby or young child without a proper seat. Why? It stops /them/ becoming a 60mph projectile when you hit something.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363707)

There already is a black market for gasoline and diesel. You can buy it tax-free from all sorts of places if you know where to look, and it's a huge, huge source of revenue loss for the government because fuel is so expensive here (you yanks whine and moan about $4 per gallon, I would be ecstatic for prices that absurdly cheap). The most common offenders are cab drivers running their cars on red diesel bought from black market fuel stations. (red diesel is so called because it is for farm and construction vehicle use and not for use on the road and thus sold tax free. It is dyed red to make it easily identifiable.)

And yes, we do have seat belt laws, and baby/car seat laws.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363745)

The real black market will be for license tags recently stolen from vehicles with paid up insurance.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363825)

if your going to be a police state then by all means do it right.

What do you mean by "police state"? If some f***ing idiot thinks he or she can drive around with an uninsured car, which hasn't been tested for roadworthiness (because you can't get an MOT without insurance), leaving everyone else to pay for the damage to cause, then most people in Britain would want their cars to be taken away and destroyed.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363879)

Over in the States we call that sentiment racist. :)

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363881)

Hell, why not making the whole show!?. Transmit everything live, and have a couple of guys commenting on it at the best style of the WWF.

They may even make money out of advertisement.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (2)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363947)

Try telling that to the people on the other end of car smashes and hit-and-runs involving uninsured and banned (dangerous) drivers. The plan will save lives.

Re:Gee, why not just send the police then (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364001)

Oops, I think you made a word mistake. The homophone you want is, I'm pretty sure, "yore":

"if yore going to be a police state then by all means do it right"

Ah, yes, that's much better.

Window is kind of closing on this w/ electrics (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363545)

soon to be the new standard vehicle.

Or is this a precursor to require installing a camera in everyone's home?

Re:Window is kind of closing on this w/ electrics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363739)

Just have a smart grid that can recognize a car charging and queries for the cars VIN. The technology exists, we can invade your privacy more fully.

Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363547)

Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages as I can see some taking it out on them or forcing them to hit the over ride button.

Re:Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363651)

That's what would happen in the US.
This is the UK. Gun crime is minimal, and people expect there to be rules about these things and so don't get worked up about it.

Re:Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363987)

Quite right old chap, I shouldn't have been driving uninsured, don't know what I was thinking. Here, take my car, I don't deserve the privilege if I can't use it properly, I've no doubt you'll handle it better than I have. Well, I've only 3 hours before I need to be to work and 60 km to go, so I'd best be off. Cheerio!

Re:Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363667)

Sorry.... all the British sheep^H^H^H^H^Hsubjects permitted themselves to be stripped of their rights to keep and bear arms by their overlords many decades ago.
No bullet proof glass needed.

Re:Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363773)

Very few drivers here are armed. Handguns are just not common here by any stretch of the imagination, despite what the sensationalist media would have you believe.

Even fewer are going to shoot at a petrol station attendant in the presence of blanket forecourt and in-building CCTV.

Most petrol stations here already have window service only at late hours, also.

Re:Will the clerks in bulletproof glass / cages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363915)

What's to say that they will have an override button?

Also - it's more likely that the crooks will just use false plates. It's easier and less risky to them.

In the other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363557)

... use of false license plates seems to have increased dramatically in the UK for unknown reasons.

Hmmm... how about having RFID tags in the plates that can be detected automatically and may be harder to forge? Or increasing the range for the RFIDs in passports so we can identify the person rather than just the vehicle?

Re:In the other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363827)

You can go to any trade show and pick up plates. A while back I picked up three sets of plates for the trailers on my three cars and they were printed and sold in under half an hour without any kind of verification. Not to mention that it is entirely legal to make your own plates providing you follow the design guidelines and the fact you can go into any scrapyard and pull plates of junk cars.

Correction (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363569)

The UK already uses CCTV cameras on a massive scale to catch uninsured cars. Our motorways have cameras over every lane which track the numberplate and this information can both be used to calculate average speed over a section of road (to enforce speed limits) and also to check for insured, banned drivers, or stolen vehicles.

This is less a new idea as the /. summary implies and more just an expansion of an existing project.

Re:Correction (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363661)

be used to calculate average speed over a section of road (to enforce speed limits)

As someone who has been up and down the motorways of the country at quite a lot faster than would activate your regular speed camera I can state that, unless they are marked as used for speed enforcement, they aren't used for speed enforcement. Yes, the kit is there, and it might be possible, but it isn't done.

Hmmm... Should probably check that "Post Anonymously" box.

Re:Correction (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363697)

The cameras used for average speed are also used for ANPR checks however. Some cameras are just for ANPR/monitoring and some are just traffic monitoring in general. Depends on the camera and location.

Re:Correction (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363711)

The insurance angle is probably just an excuse to further expand the tracking of the entire population. Why not just put a black box in every vehicle and be done with it?

And when the database is wrong? (2, Insightful)

Jonathan_S (25407) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363575)

Wonderful, when the inevitable errors in the database occur you'll be stranded at some random gas station. Nothing in that article about how you could prove their database was incorrect or out of date.

At least if an officer ran your plate and stopped you you could provide proof of insurance, showing their database entry was wrong.

Re:And when the database is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363647)

Oh I'm sure the system will also notify the police to come arrest you for having an illegally uninsured vehicle out on the roads...

Re:And when the database is wrong? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363815)

No, it doesn't work like that. Taxing a vehicle is linked to having insurance and an MOT (safety test). All of these are already handled through an online database. So if the database is wrong, you can't tax your car in the first place. You phone them up and they fix it. Until you do so you're not legal to drive, so filling up with petrol is a side issue.

Re:And when the database is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363819)

I rather suspect that if you are not on the database then you are de-facto not insured (insurance companies required to make the entry as part of a two phase commit).

This isnt some Noddy MySQL db

Re:And when the database is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363889)

And what of those who are from another country (such as people like me, an Irishman)? Don't think I want the English police to have any connection to my insurance information here at home, given their stellar *cough* record of never making a mistake.

Re:And when the database is wrong? (0)

tomtomtom (580791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363975)

The real problem is that it's *drivers* who are insured, not cars. Hence checking number plates will always generate issues - this is why it is ridiculous that we are now using ANPR for this purpose. It works for tax because the car is taxed not the driver. A car can legally not appear on any specific insurance policy yet as long as the driver is insured and it is physically road-legal (tire-tread depth etc), it is be legal to drive (and conversely, if you breach the terms of your insurance, even though it is in the database it won't be legal to drive). This is useful - most fully-comprehensive policies give you third party cover driving any car which isn't yours as long as you have the owner's permission.

US has same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363591)

Auto insurance rates are very high in some states(OK, WV) just because of the uninsured. Cameras at gas stations wouldn't be tolerated or work. We have drivers and vehicles from all over the world on our roads. What is a more effective way to get people insured or off the road?

Re:US has same problem (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363637)

National driving insurance, paid for by your normal taxes, that covers everyone and everything.

Or putting uninsured drivers in jail.

Both are expensive, but I have no idea why the UK doesn't do the latter anywhere near as often as it should (also, see: driving bans that you can go to court for driving in, and then be punished by being banned from driving - even if your under the minimum age needed to have a driving license!).

Re:US has same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363965)

Its a £110 fine when you get caught driving without insurance, no points, no jail, no ban.

Re:US has same problem (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363689)

P.S. You think London doesn't have drivers from all over the world on our roads either?

Hint: The UK is 30 miles from France joined by a lovely underground train tunnel that is DESIGNED to carry personal cars between the two.

Fuck the UK (-1, Offtopic)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363625)

o Not just watched everywhere you go, but analyzed everywhere you go
o Get thrown in jail in Ireland for saying "goddamnit"
o 2012, still guilty until proven innocent

..yeah, you can fucking keep your screwed-up countries. The U.S. may be fucked up, but we're not fucked up quite like that.

Re:Fuck the UK (2)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363691)

Two points.

You don't get watched everywhere you go.

Ireland isn't in the UK.

Re:Fuck the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363693)

Yes you are. You have the most people in jail, in the world. The US is just as fucked up, its just that its heavily slanted to punish poor people so its rarely that the middle class gets the bad treatment so they notice just how bad things are.

Re:Fuck the UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363781)

Except for sub-Saharan Africa and the Islamic world, there are probably only about 4 or 5 countries I'd choose the UK over.

Re:Fuck the UK (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363909)

o Get thrown in jail in Ireland for saying "goddamnit"

What does that have to do with UK?

o 2012, still guilty until proven innocent

Not true at all.

I see a very profitable Black Market springing up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363627)

I think subject says it all.

Re:I see a very profitable Black Market springing (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363805)

You mean alongside the one that already exists?

The black market for fuel (especially diesel) is an enormous and profitable industry.

Brazil, zil, zil, zil (1)

michelcultivo (524114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363653)

In Brazil we have the same problem, a lot of people don't like to pay the taxes involving in having a car and the major is trying to reduce the traffic by imposing restrictions.

But if we remove this cars that don't pay taxes we're going to have better streets without traffic jams.

Next step (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363685)

If this becomes operational, I wouldn't be surprised if unpaid fines were added to the list soon.

Sounds like Big Bro needs to back off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363695)

"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot" - Mr. Creedy's men sitting behind those cameras...

May I suggest... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363733)

Another revolution, and a new Magna Carta? This time, make sure that your founding documents say very clearly that the people are not the property of the state, and that the state exists to secure the rights of the people, not to compel them to obedience to the desires of the political class.

-jcr

put the insurance in the gas! (2)

hypethetica (739528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363737)

how about jacking up the price of gas to buy insurance as you go? this would have the added side effect of making people think twice about driving 4 blocks to run an errand and buying giant gas guzzler vehicles. yeah, yeah, some issues about lawn mowers and such, but we could work out a system for that I'd think.

Unintended consequences (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363765)

Years ago, it wasn't that uncommon for thieves to siphon fuel out of someone else's petrol tank in the middle of the night. This led to central-locking fuel caps in cars which were harder to break into. I wonder if this will just incentivise people enough (who, let's face it, are already criminals by definition if they are driving uninsured) to overcome the resistance this created...

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39364005)

Give a man a siphon hose and he can drive for a day. Teach him how to puncture a gas tank to collect fuel and he can drive for life.

Or something.

insurance margins? (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363869)

So what is the cost to payoff ratio in UK before and after? 2:1? 3:1? 4:1? In the US insurance companies pushed mandatory insurance laws to gouge people.

The REAL reason (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363943)

The real reason is that the way around the cameras is to have a dirty license plate.
Now you will have to clean your plate to get fuel, so now all the other cameras will be able to track you.

Otherwise, as has been said, the uninsured will drive diesel cars and use cooking oil for fuel, and save both ways!

from country of Big Brother and Old Major (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363985)

The first solution seems to be more government intervention.

right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39363993)

Sounds to me like the UK is just grasping for reasons to spy on everyone.

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