Big brother for cars

by David


The tiny Island of Bermuda is set to introduce a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system for all of the 47,000 moving vehicles on the entire island in an effort to control the way that the residents are using their vehicles, or rather mis-using their vehicles, as it appears that they have a problem in collecting fines etc, it is estimated that over two million US dollars worth of fines are not being paid every year, which for a small place is quite significant amount of cash that could be used on other services etc.

The plan has been given the go ahead and will be implemented as soon as possible, it will involve each and every vehicle being tagged with the RFID device which will have its own unique number and is logged into the Islands central database, as the vehicle is being driven around the RFID can be read by stationary and mobile readers, effectively each and every vehicle can be tracked all the time, wherever it goes.

The system will only identify vehicles and not the drivers, but the system is set up to issue tickets for that vehicle if and when the situation arises. Basically what it sounds like, is the whole Island is going to be covered with readers in fixed locations, as well as mobile units, these will automatically send out tickets to the owners of the vehicles should they commit any traffic offense.

Clearly it is not going to be a place for fly/drive vacation unless you are an extremely careful driver and even if you are, it would be prudent to study the traffic laws prior to getting behind the wheel, otherwise it may turn out to be a rather more expensive vacation than you originally thought.

Bermuda is only around 21 square miles in size, has a population of around 63,000 and has over 47,000 vehicles, but in proportion the country is said to have one of the highest ratios of traffic per square mile in the world, which is why they have introduced this system, it is estimated that the government expect to recoup over $11 million dollars I the next five years in lost fines alone, that is without all the new fines that will be issued because of the system catching more drivers speeding and breaking other traffic laws.

Source [Engadget]

6 reviews or comments

Kevin Says: May 10, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Tourists cannot rent or drive cars in Bermuda anyway.

So this is something to catch natives instead. Which seems rather mean for such a small, usually laid back island.

kelso Says: May 15, 2007 at 11:35 am

This won’t help safety at all, it’ll just track citizens and take more money in form of fines.

Next, some dumbass in the US government is gonna get the bright idea that we too, should do this, “For the Children.”

To hell with this.


Dave Says: May 16, 2007 at 1:00 am

Fact is that RFID detection is pretty easy to jam, so it won’t take long for the island’s inhabitants to completely trash this scheme anyway. If that’s what they want to do. For all we know, they could have had a vote and voted FOR it!

Axi0n Says: May 16, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Hmm… Yeah… RFID can be jammed, but of course like someone suggested… It’s essentially nothing more than a tax grab…

The Police already have a heyday on their monthly crackdowns… Considering there are really only 3 or 4 major roads in Bermuda…

Further while it would be worthwhile to jam RFID whilst driving, I can totally see the Meter Maids walking around same as always scanning… Guess what happens when they hit a car with not returning RFID information… That’ll be a bigger fine… If there is active jamming, I can see all vehicles affected getting ticketed.

There is only two situations in Bermuda in Traffic Court… A) You’re Guilty… B) You plead innocent thereby making you guiltier…

So a cash grab indeed methinks…

LostChild Says: May 19, 2007 at 8:44 pm

No good can possibly come from this.
There’s no good reason for the government to know where we are all the time. If we wanted them to know, we’d call them up and tell them.
As for the speeding, I wonder what difference it would make, taking into account that traffic flow is well above the actual speed limit.
Although tourists cannot rent cars, they can (and do) rent mopeds.
What will the police do now?

The Future Says: May 22, 2007 at 4:38 am

RFID cannot track a specific location but it will read between points under the right conditions.

To implement such a scheme would be a major invasion of privacy. If this was a scheme designed to resolve the large unpaid fine issue (I doubt it) it would not deal with the issue at hand – fine collection. Lack on integration of govt. departments is the real issue.
Why are you issuing licenses to those with significant unpaid fines?
Why are you not escalating the fines?
Why do you not know where these people live if they are all registered in your system?

There is a significant amount of crazy people on the roads, not a lot by volume but it only takes a few idiots to make the roads a dangerous place. All too often we see insane speeders, overtaking on corners. Every single day I see folks with children on the front of their bikes. Every single day I see little children standing up in cars or no seat belt or booster seat in sight, sitting in the front seat.

You don’t solve this by technology.

It is resolved, in the words of a great Bermudian Sage, with ‘testicular fortitude’.

Write a review or comment

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Top Categories
Latest Posts
Subscribe to Newsletter