Additional police forces join trial of new AI road safety cameras

CCTV Security camera over blue sky background.

An artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile technology trial being conducted by National Highways is about to be extended throughout the United Kingdom.

Ten additional police forces will be added to the cameras, which have the ability to automatically identify drivers who are not using their seatbelts or who are using mobile phones while driving.

They will be utilising the new gear, which has various cameras that provide varying perspectives of the driver and their passengers and is mounted to a vehicle or trailer.

The project, which was first introduced in 2021, employs cutting-edge technology to identify drivers who are using their phones or not wearing seatbelts.

After processing, the data is forwarded to the police, who notify the motorist of their activities by sending letters warning of the risks associated with their activity.

Police research indicates that using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by four times.

Additionally, if they are not wearing a seatbelt, their chances of dying in an accident are doubled.

Durham, Greater Manchester Police, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley Police, and Sussex are the police forces involved in the trial.

Starting on February 19 and lasting until March 2025, the study is being conducted in collaboration with AECOM.

There are plans to install the technology on gantries for the first time, providing an unobstructed view of all lanes, however there is presently no projected date for this to happen.

The police are sent the photos captured by the AI cameras so they may decide what action to take.

In addition to penalty points, drivers who violate the rule may be fined up to £500 for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Anybody found using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle might be fined up to £1,000 and have six penalty points added to their licence.

National Highways Head of National Road User Safety Delivery, Matt Staton, said: “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.”

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