Big Brother proposals suggested for tracking diesel drivers in a bid to charge more for emissions.

Big brother could soon be watching owners of diesel cars, as local authorities consider new ways of charging motorists more for their car’s emissions. The Express newspaper reports that proposals being considered include making drivers install a tracking device to monitor the amount of pollution emitted by certain vehicles.

Operating in real time, the device would send emissions performance to a local authority, who could charge according to how smooth - and less polluting - or not a driver was. It’s believed that additional costs could be levied if a driver chose to pass near a school, enter a known pollution ‘hot spot’ or travelled during periods of high traffic volumes.

The aim will be to encourage motorists to drive responsibly and ensure their vehicles are correctly maintained and efficient.

Although discussions are at an early stage, this proposed scheme is not linked to the London Mayor’s plans to introduce a toxicity ‘T-charge’ - this will be a daily £10 charge for driving areas deemed to be pollution hot spots.

Trials of the proposed tracker system are expected to start later this year, with London’s Congestion Charge operator Captia partnering with technology firm Tantalum. At present the trial will involve around 1,000 vehicles from a variety of leasing companies and commercial operators.

In the face of the London Mayor’s ‘big stick’ approach to penalising diesel drivers through higher on-street parking charges and the proposed T-charge, industry observers see the tracker technology as being a more targeted and effective approach to cutting vehicle emissions.

However, it’s likely that privacy will be raised as an issue among motorists, whose driving habits will will be tracked by the technology. The trade-off, according to those behind the plans, will be rewards in the form of lower charges if drivers make an effort to modify their routes and driving behaviour.

If successful, it’s likely that the scheme will find favour with other local authorities outside of London who are also keen to reduce local emissions and reduce city centre car use.

Source: The Express

Gallery: Diesel emissions