Eat your heart out George Orwell, England has begun testing satellite-based speed cameras capable of recording average speeds and reading license plates from space. Don't get any big ideas about English weather either, it works in cloudy conditions.
Designed to monitor drivers across a geographic area rather than on a specific stretch of road, SpeedSpike will use GPS signals to determine average speeds over entire journeys then combine that data with spy cameras capable of reading license plates to ID the vehicle in question.
SpeedSpike's proponents hope it will eliminate "rat-runs," back roads and alleyways drivers currently use to evade traffic and speed enforcement. There's also some vague assertion that it will reduce both congestion and speeds outside schools, although we suspect that's simply a cynical attempt to squeeze SpeedSpike's adoption past the public, which it's actually designed to squeeze revenue out of.
Sadly, the AA (a driver's lobby group as well as a provider of roadside assistance) isn't putting up much objection, saying, "It is a natural evolution of the technology that is out there." [The Telegraph]