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Fun! The speed camera that doesn't just check your speed

A new speed camera is designed not merely to check your speed, but also to monitor whether you're insured, whether you're tailgating, and even whether you're wearing a seat belt.

Everyone knows that speed cameras work.

They create the discipline of a lissom lady in leather and make sure everyone understands just what the rules are. In fact, some people are so in awe of speed cameras' discipline that they develop speed camera phobia and try to steer clear of them whenever possible.

This being a troubled world, there are those who believe that these marvels of technology are merely there to make money for local authorities. So what can these troubled people say to the fact that Arizona has removed its speed cameras because it couldn't make them pay? Well, they could say that Arizonans simply weren't too keen on paying their tickets.

Now, though, speed camera technology is going a little further. My heart began to chug beyond all speed limits when I read in the Daily Mail that there are new speed cameras, ones that don't merely check your speed.

Will new, more sophisticated speed cameras bring discipline to our highways? CC 91RS/Flickr

This astounding conjunction of art, technology, and justice--known as Asset (Advanced Safety and Driver Support for Essential Road Transport)--is so packed with gizmos that it can discover you are breaking a multitude of laws all at the same time.

Yes, Asset can check whether you're insured, whether you're wearing your seat belt, whether you're too close to the car in front. It can even check whether your hands are in the correct 3:40pm position currently recommended in many states.

Oh, I'm not entirely sure about that last one. But I am sure your veins are already pulsating at the idea of a speed camera that could, potentially, issue three or four tickets to you at once.

Asset is currently being tested in Finland. So one can only wonder whether these speed cameras will be able to detect alcohol levels emerging with drivers' breath, as Finland has a long and interesting history with alcohol consumption.

The Asset mechanism is really quite simple. It takes a multitude of pictures and wafts them back by satellite to a large central database. Think of it as a real-time Google search of your car.

The Mail suggests that these fine machines--you know, machines that issue fines--will be in service across Europe by 2013.

I know that many who live outside of Europe's confines will already be booking their trips in anticipation of such a large and speedy step forward for civilization.