Tire tread depth gauge

Here's a new one. According to AutoExpress, police in the UK are looking into scanners embedded into roadways that can detect the depth of a vehicle's tire tread. If your rubber doesn't meet a set of pre-determined parameters, you could eventually expect to see a fine show up in the mail. Currently, law enforcement says that the technology will only be used in checkpoint scenarios to alert drivers of a potentially dangerous situation, but given that the system costs somewhere around €50,000, or $67,500 at current conversion rates, critics are concerned that the depth-measuring device will be used as a cudgel to drum up revenue.

That concern is bolstered by the fact that Trevor Hall, a major proponent of speed cameras in the UK, is also behind the measure.

We're all for improving road safety in any way possible, but if this new technology results in fines for motorists, we have concerns. After all, measures like the one proposed here would almost certainly target low-income drivers and unfairly position revenue generation on their shoulders. After all, if you can afford new tires, chances are better that you'll buy them.