Unveiled in November, the Lone Ranger features a massive telephoto lens that can capture high-definition images of speeding drivers from over half a mile away.
The police says the distance offenders can be caught by the Lone Ranger is twice that offered by a regular speed camera. The cutting edge camera began testing in Gloucestershire last month as part of Operation Indemnis.
Since the trial began, the camera – fitted with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) – has snapped 1,293 drivers speeding on the A417 with one motorist caught doing 126mph on the 70mph-limited road with nine others caught doing over a ton.
Other offences picked up by the Lone Ranger include tailgating, number plate violations and driving without insurance or tax (with the offenders’ cars being seized by police). Demonstrating just how powerful the camera is, seven drivers were also done for not wearing a seatbelt.
Not according to the police. The reason for introducing the Lone Ranger is simple – the A417 that connects M4 and M5 is one of Britain’s most dangerous roads for accidents. “This is not about bashing the motorist,” said Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl. “This is one of the county’s busiest roads which also has one of the worst accident records due to the way it’s used.
“We now have a chance to test a new model of collaborative road policing which, if it proves a success, can be put into practice elsewhere. The aim is not just to penalise motorists but to uphold the law by creating a change in people’s behaviour. But the police will enforce the law when necessary.”
Based on the Lone Ranger’s results after a single month, we reckon you should expect to see the camera rolled out across the UK in 2019 – so stick to the speed limit, don’t tailgate and, for goodness sake, wear a seatbelt.
Image © Jaguar MENA