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AI speed cameras to catch distracted drivers and seatbelt violations across Britain

By Mathilda Bartholomew | July 9, 2024


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A new wave of AI-powered speed cameras is being introduced across Britain to catch drivers violating traffic laws.

AI speed cameras to catch distracted drivers and seatbelt violations across Britain

A new generation of AI-powered speed cameras is set to be rolled out across Britain to catch drivers breaking the law. Developed by Australian tech firm Acusensus, these cameras will help multiple police forces catch drivers using mobile phones or not wearing seatbelts.

These advanced cameras, which can automatically detect seatbelt and mobile phone violations, were tested earlier this year by National Highways. They used the technology, mounted on vehicles or trailers with multiple cameras providing various views of drivers and passengers, in regions like Durham, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley, and Sussex.

National Highways Head of National Road User Safety Delivery, Matt Staton, emphasised, “We know that distracted driving and not wearing seatbelts were key factors in a high number of incidents that resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.

“Working with our police partners we want to reduce such dangerous driving and reduce the risks posed to both the drivers and other people. We believe that using technology like this will make people seriously consider their driving behaviour.

“We will continue to invest in technology that could help make sure everyone using our roads gets home safe and well.”

Despite the penalties for using handheld phones doubling to six penalty points and a £200 fine seven years ago, Department for Transport data shows that 400,000 drivers still use their phones while driving each year.

RAC road safety spokesman Rod Dennis highlights “Despite the penalties for using a handheld phone having doubled to six penalty points and a £200 fine seven years ago, it’s clear far too many drivers are still prepared to put lives at risk by engaging in this dangerous practice.

“We suspect a major reason for this is a lack of enforcement, meaning many drivers have no fear of being caught.

“AI-equipped cameras that can automatically detect drivers breaking the law offer a chance for the tide to be turned.

“The police can’t be everywhere all of the time, so it makes sense that forces look to the best available technology that can help them catch drivers acting illegally.

“What’s more, we know from RAC research that drivers are widely supportive of tougher enforcement of the law around handheld mobile phone use, with nearly half of these (47%) saying that camera technology like this is the best way of doing so.”

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