A Florida woman who rear-ended two vehicles and left the scene without reporting the accident has had her collar felt.
Normally she would have made a clean get away, but she forgot to silence one key witness.
Apparently 57-year-old Cathy Bernstein had done the right thing and phoned the coppers through her Ford’s Emergency Assistance safety feature and grassed her up.
The system activates when sensors on the car detect a sudden change of speed or movement. An emergency call is automatically placed to local first responders who can pinpoint the precise location of the incident using information supplied by the vehicle’s GPS unit.
An audio recording released by the authorities reveals how Bernstein tried to convince the dispatcher that there was no cause for concern. When the dispatcher asks what’d happened, Bernstein responds, “Ma’am, there’s no problem. Everything was fine.”
After one of the drivers had been taken to hospital with minor injuries, coppers arrested Bernstein in connection with the incident.
The EU earlier this year passed legislation that means all new cars sold in Europe from March 2018 will have to be fitted with a system called eCall, which works in a similar way to Ford’s Emergency Assistance technology, so we will see such cars over the pond soon too.
Privacy campaigners concerned that governments might use the technology to keep permanent track of a vehicle’s movements have been told the new rules only allow for GPS information to be collected in the event of a collision, and that it must be deleted one it’s been used.