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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Snap me if you can: Camera phones to be used to catch traffic offenders

Take care of how you drive. This could be the newest motto in Malaysia. Here, a webpage called Pandu Cermat has been launched where pictures of traffic offenders will be posted. Who is asked to sumbit those pictures? The public - they can snap traffic offenders on their handphone or camera and send it to the Hall of Shame section of a newly launched road safety website.

Malaysia is not the first country where this is happening - I think there are some places in the US where this is also happening. In Germany, the public has been invited to participate in crime hunts as well by snapping pictures of potential suspects.

And whatever it is clear that digital cameras, and cameraphones are uniquely equipped to be used for such purposes.

There was already the women who ">snapped a picture of a flasher, instead of being shocked. Other situations are mentioned in the same article: "A 15-year-old boy foiled a kidnapping attempt by using a cellphone to take photos of man trying to lure him into a car. The boy also snapped a photo of the car's license plate, leading police to a suspect."

Back to Malaysia. There are dangers in taking pictures of a traffic offenders. Many might just do this while driving - so watch out for cars that veer off in front of you. It is tough to shoot a traffic offender committing the offense. There are always the few seconds to wait to get the camera ready - it is not possible to ask the offender to just do it again, and may be include a smile. Additionally, there is the increasing phenomen of road rage - how would those react whose picture has been taken? Already, people are beaten up just because they took pictures during weddings.

(By Asia Business Consulting)