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Surveillance of highways by law enforcement is a virtually ubiquitous phenomenon in developed countries, intended to deter reckless driving and increase traffic safety. Historically, surveillance of highways has concentrated on enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws, as well as the curbing of impaired driving. More recently, automation of speed enforcement has dramatically increased in some countries, as has the use of automated methods to levy tolls. Concerns over oppressive enforcement and data privacy, as well as methods of inverse surveillance, have surfaced as a result of automation developments.

Police surveillance of highways is nearly as old as the automobile itself. Instances of speed monitoring of vehicles via stopwatch date to the turn of the 20th century; the first recorded “speed trap” appears to have ...

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