Sweden could be the first country to introduce terrorist-proof digital geo-fencing, after its infrastructure minister, Tomas Eneroth, indicated that testing could begin in Stockholm as early as next year. Geo-fencing, which is not currently being used by any other countries in the way Sweden is proposing, is able to pin-point the geographical position of vehicles using global positioning technology and prevent them from entering restricted areas.
The technology enforces this digital codon by controlling vehicles which are fitted with specially-designed hardware, regulating speeds and even being able to bring them to a complete stop. It is understood that, under the proposed system, only vehicles fitted with the technology will be given access to the city centre.
Sweden was the victim of a terrorist attack in April this year when an asylum seeker, who had recently had his right to stay refused, drove a lorry down a pedestrian street killing five people and injuring many more. Shortly after that attack, the Swedish government announced it as essential that a more technological approach to traffic policing was introduced, specifically itemising geo-fencing.
“Such restrictions would also help increase the road safety of vulnerable road users,” read an official statement on the Government Offices of Sweden website. “In addition, it could help to protect people's lives and health by preventing opportunities to hijack vehicles and use them in terror attacks.”
The city’s traffic commissioner, Daniel Hellden, is another that see geo-fences as the way forward. “What we need is a system whereby no heavy vehicles can drive inside the city perimeters without a digital box that regulates speed,” said Hellden.
“If a vehicle were to drive too fast or if it were to enter a location where it is not authorised to be, then the vehicle would automatically stop.”
Stockholm is also following the example of cities including London and Rome by installing physical deterrents to protect its citizens, with the introduction of 60 three-tonne lion-shaped concrete barriers that are positioned in such a way to make it impossible for vehicles to reach dangerously high speeds.