The Spy In The Sky

Have you heard about the latest weapon for traffic law enforcement? If you didn’t see it in the papers you’ll never guess.

It’s an unmanned surveillance aircraft - a drone, as used by the military in Afganistan, which can capture images of number plates from up to 20,000 feet!

‘What fresh hell is this?’ I hear you cry. But I’m afraid it’s true. The Kent and Essex police have formed the South Coast partnership with aerospace giant BAE Systems, and with the support of the Home Office they are hoping to have police drones in service by 2012.

Some of you will no doubt be wondering why some of this military technology can’t be directed towards real criminals, but let’s not rant.

You see, like most recent law enforcement initiatives this one relies on the fact that its’ intended victims are basically law abiding.

And that means you have an alternative.

Did you know that an increasing number of road users never give such matters a second thought? They also go motoring for a fraction of the cost that you and I see as inevitable.

So how do you join this happy band? Well I’ll tell you.

This is what you do.

1. Buy a suitable car. You need a recent Mot failure – pretty much anything will do. Aim to pay a maximum of fifty quid. Car auctions are a favourite source.
2. Er. That’s it.

Road tax, insurance, Mot certificates, even driving licences are simply not required.

You just press on.

And if you want to drive your new steed like you just stole it, well why not? You’re not going to put your name on the registration documents are you?

You don’t even have to pay for petrol if you don’t want to. Just fill up and drive off.

But you can’t carry on like that you say.

Why not?

Only three things are going to stop you.

1. You break down.
2. You have a crash
3. You get tugged by the Rozzers, who, (recognising you as a wrong ‘un,) impound your car.

And what do you do?

It’s so easy - just walk away!

You’ll have another fifty quid car by tonight and off you go again!

Of course, if you have been a really bad lad, and the police don’t believe you when you give them the name of the last person on the registration documents, you may, eventually, find yourself in court. This is not a problem. A fine? – just don’t pay. Licence suspended? – what licence? Community service? – just don’t show up. Prison? I don’t think so.

Of course, if you are a bit of a thinker you may decide to conduct yourself in a more discreet manner. You may invest in a set of cloned number plates for example and use off street parking whenever possible. You can then in all probability look forward to years of low cost, hassle free motoring. And remember – any trouble, just walk away!

The police are well aware of the situation of course. It’s just that they can’t do much about it (see above for the options). So all that’s left are a few tough talking TV adverts to remind potential miscreants that their cars my be confiscated and crushed (big deal).

So, what lesson can we learn from this then? Well, as a realist, I’m afraid it’s this.

Next time you have a crash and stagger unsteadily from the smoking wreckage, the first question on your lips should not be, “Are you OK?” or “Is anyone hurt?” It should be, “Are you insured?”