For the last several years, one prominent car insurance firm has used a
tracking device to help set rates, and other companies may follow suit.
Although the cheerful spokesperson tries to frame the Snapshot as a totally
benign technology, the device actually tracks three different driving
habits: number of miles driven, the times of day the customer drives and
the number of "hard" brakes. Motorists who drive more than 15,000
miles per year, drive between midnight and 4:00 A.M. and have a significant
number of hard brakes are considered high risk, and their rates are adjusted
For now, the company only offers discounts through the Snapshot program,
and does not raise rates based on the results.
Inspired by things like the Snapshot, a Tennessee company has developed
a high-tech system that combines a radar gun with photo enforcement technology.
Applied Technology Partner's
Velocity Snap System is a combination LIDAR device, high-resolution camera and mobile recorder.
The officer aims the radar beam at a car, and the in-device camera records
what he sees. If the car is speeding, the driver receives a citation in
the mail, much like a photo enforcement camera.
The device allows officers to bypass a 20-minute traffic stop, so they
can theoretically write more tickets in a day. And, if there is a hearing,
there is an officer who can give testimony in court.
Look for even more advanced devices in the near future, as police departments
seek to increase revenue by writing a greater number of speeding tickets