Why is the Highways Agency selling CCTV images from, initially 100 of their CCTV cameras via a mobile phone premium service partner ?
via eGov Monitor:
Highways Agency brings CCTV images to your mobile
Video footage from Highways Agency CCTV cameras will be brought direct to your mobile phone, in a trial agreed by the Highways Agency. For the first time, images previously only shared with road service providers, the police and emergency services, will now be made available to the public.
The trial starts with 100 cameras on the M25, M1, M6, M4, M5, M40 M42, M54, M60, A1M, M61 and will extend to the full Highways Agency CCTV network by the end of the year.
Denise Plumpton, Information Director, said:
"We're carrying out this 12-month trial to see if we can help our road users plan their journeys and avoid any delays on the network.
"You'll be able to check real-time traffic conditions on the busiest parts of our network from the convenience of your mobile phone."
Our partner in the trial is MX Data, which provides map-based traffic and travel information to the mobile service industry. The service, which supports over 100 handsets and the four networks O2, Orange, VodaFone, Tmobile, already provides local authority, Scottish and Welsh CCTV images.
To get more details of the service visit http://www.traffictv.co.uk
If the aim is really to inform the public about traffic jams and bad weather conditions, when they are planning a journey, then these images, which have already been paid for by the taxpayer, should be available, for free from the Highways Agency's own traffic information website, but of course, they are not doing this.
How much money is the Highways Agency getting from this deal ?
Which officials granted MX Data a monopoly on these public CCTV images ?
How have these civil servants been lulled into forgetting that using a mobile phone when driving, even for a voice only conversation is dangerous. Even more dangerous is using one with a map or video screen. The current criminal penalty for doing so is a fine of up to £1000.