I keep trying to flag up to various people that we are now living in a police state. This story from the Daily Mail illustrates again just how close to total control we are getting.
You won't know you have committed a crime until a fine lands on your door mat. It's about raising cash - try to contest one of these fines and see how far you get.
Democracy? Forget it. Privacy? Long gone. Stalinst state. Hello.
Big Brother row as police force starts using Google camera cars to fine wayward drivers
Police are taking a leaf out of Google's book with their latest weapon in the war on motorists. They are using cars with spy cameras on a mast.
Drivers talking on their mobile phones, eating, applying make-up or otherwise driving illegally will be pictured.
And as the telescopic cameras can zoom in from some distance, the first inkling that they have been snapped could be when a £60 fine lands on the doorstep.
Police say the new cars – similar to those used by Google to map town and city streets – will help reduce road deaths.
But motorists say the Big Brother vehicles will merely be another cash cow for the Government and a further 'tax' on hard-pressed motorists.
Two Smart cars are pioneering the scheme in Greater Manchester, where distracted motorists are said to have caused more than 400 accidents in the past two years, killing or seriously injuring 25 victims.
Drivers who are caught using their mobiles will be sent a £60 fine and will have three penalty points on their licence.
Those caught on camera without a seatbelt or driving erratically while eating will be fined £30. Anyone who refuses to accept a fine – which will go into Treasury coffers – could be hauled before the courts.
Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, the road safety group behind the latest scheme, said: 'Many vehicles are now better equipped than offices or homes, with the latest technology in satellite navigation, telecommunications and state-of-the-art music systems all to hand.
'Add in other distractions such as complex dashboard instrumentation, a hot cup of coffee and a conversation with other vehicle occupants, and it is no wonder that some drivers are not paying attention.'
She added: 'The Smart enforcement vehicles are fully police liveried and working in areas where our data analysis has identified a high occurrence of "driver distraction" collisions and where officers have regularly observed offences being committed.'
Nigel Humphries, from the Association of British Drivers, said: 'This is a total infringement. They might as well put something in cars to test what drivers are thinking – to see if they are concentrating on the road or thinking about something else.
'Apart from that it's going to be counter-productive. There's no excuse for not having police officers watching the road to look out for motorists who are driving erratically.'
Peter Roberts, from the Drivers' Alliance, said: 'People shouldn't be using mobile phones when they are driving in the car, especially handheld ones. But I am not comfortable with spy cameras which can see into your car and see what you are doing. 'The old-fashioned type of policing where coppers are sitting by the side of the road watching people go past to see if they are using a mobile is a far better way of doing things.'