DRIVERS in Essex could soon be caught speeding by a police helicopter armed with a radar device. Around 20 signs are being placed around the county to warn drivers they are being watched from the sky.
Alongside the radar tracking equipment the helicopters are understood to be carrying a Skyshout public address system which would warn drivers they are being tracked. The choppers will carry automatic number plate recognition that can identify a car from 700ft.
Norman Hume, chairman of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board, which aims to lower road casualties, said: 'We are seeing accidents in Essex dramatically reduced as a result of our intervention and education campaign but need to make more impact on motorcycle accidents. There is a perception it is sometimes easier for motorcyclists to evade detection of offences because of the speed they travel at. We feel signs warning of the likelihood of detection by air will be an extra incentive for motorcyclists in particular, and all motorists, to drive safely.'
Campaign group the TaxPayers Alliance has estimated that the helicopter will cost around £1,000 an hour to run. Captain Gatso of Motorists Against Detection said: Essex tax payers should be outraged at the way the police are wasting their money get the cops on the streets.