government is reportedly planning to fit all cars in Britain with a
personalised microchip so rule-breaking motorists can be prosecuted
Roadside sensors could track
The chip will automatically report a wide range of offences
including speeding, road tax evasion and illegal parking, according
to The Sunday Times newspaper.
It will even record every time motorists drive in bus lanes, The
The paper says the scheme would require car makers to fit the
chips in all vehicles while older cars would have them added during
The existing network of roadside sensors, set up by
traffic-monitoring companies and the Highways Agency, would require
minimal modification to be used for electronic vehicle
identification (EVI) tracking, The Times says.
Each sensor would be programmed with the road's speed, parking
and general driving restrictions, says The Sun.
The chip plan emerges in the first part of an initial feasibility
study, an 85-page document drafted by the Association of Chief
Police Officers on the orders of transport secretary Alistair
Darling, which lists 47 possible offences for EVI.
Written by Sussex traffic police head Superintendent Jim Hammond,
it says stolen cars could quickly be traced and uninsured drivers
would automatically be identified, reports suggest.
The study also notes cars driven by terrorist suspects or drug
smugglers could be monitored even in Europe if, as officials in
Brussels envisage, EVI is introduced across the European Union.
But civil rights organisation Liberty told The Sun: "This sets a
very dangerous precedent.
"The entire driving population is going to be turned into
AA Motoring Trust deputy director Bert Morris added: "There could
be a hidden agenda.
"We have to ask if the gain is worth the pain."
Tory shadow trade secretary Tim Yeo told The Sun: "This would be
a spy harassing every driver.
"It's time the government laid off motorists."
The "nightmarish" plan "risks turning every motorist, however
safe a driver, into a criminal", he added.