The Mayor of New York has definitely begun his war waged on the drivers of the city. Plans are in the making for a new and slightly worrying system, which will block drivers of suspicious vehicles.
It will work like this. Over 3000 car license plate recognition equipped cameras will track vehicles as the drive through the city; any vehicle that the cameras pick up will be automatically checked against the database held by the authorities. We already know that CCTV cameras located around city and in fact almost every major city in the world can do this. But here is the difference. Gates will be placed at key junctions and locations, which will be activated should a vehicle pop up on the screen at the base. These gates will block the vehicle and most likely every other car that is in the vicinity until the New York Police Dept can get there and deal with the vehicle.
The police say that this will be used to combat terrorism, but has this been thought out clearly? What about the traffic? To be more precise, can you imagine being trapped in traffic with a car that is suspected of being involved in some sort of terrorist act?
This is very likely to cause many scenes of public disorder if people believe that there is a vehicle and occupants who might be terrorists or just have not paid their congestion charge. If this system goes ahead and it does look like it will in some form or other, the general public will find themselves being observed and scrutinized more than ever. But in this day and age, when the public is demanding security, what are the authorities to do?