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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

New high-tech van will spot dangerous driving on East Yorkshire roads


The enforcement vehicle using AI technology is being trialled to spot drivers using mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt


A new high-tech enforcement van will soon be seen on roads around Hull and East Yorkshire that can detect motorists using mobiles phones while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.


Safer Roads Humber is working with National Highways in trialling a new vehicle that is set to be deployed around the region this week. The unit uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify motorists potentially breaking the law.


At the same time, Safer Roads Humber is raising awareness of the “Fatal Four” – the main causes of road collisions. These include speeding, using a handheld mobile phone while driving resulting in distraction, driving while impaired through alcohol and drugs, and not wearing a seat belt, which determines the severity of injury in a crash.


Ian Robertson, partnership manager at Safer Roads Humber, said: “It is important that motorists always obey all traffic law, this is for their safety and the safety of other road users. The number of people killed or injured in road collisions across the region has plateaued over the last few years and this is in part due to driver complacency.


“We can’t pick and choose which road traffic laws we obey; all laws should be adhered to, at all times.” He added: “This new van increases our enforcement capability; our current safety camera vans can already detect mobile phone users and seat belt offences, but this specialist equipment gives us added capacity.”


The enforcement vehicle will help detect motorists using a handheld mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seat belt



The enforcement vehicle will help detect motorists using a handheld mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seat belt


Images captured by AI of potential law-breaking will be sent to an officer to complete a secondary check; prosecution may then follow. Mr Robertson said: “The majority of motorists drive safely and appropriately most of the time, but a very small minority deliberately drive in a dangerous manner.


“Using a handheld phone while driving, whether texting, checking your status or ringing friends, is a very deliberate act. Not wearing your seat belt is a very deliberate act and if you’re involved in a collision, you are more likely to be killed or seriously injured. Anyone driving in this manner risks prosecution.”


Jamie Hassall, National Highways’ road safety team leader, said: “This technology has already been deployed on roads elsewhere in the country where it has helped to shine a light on the minority of dangerous drivers who continue to put themselves and others at risk. We want to see if we can change driver behaviour and therefore improve road safety for everyone.”


Anyone detected using a handheld mobile phone while driving risks being fined £200 and receiving six points on their licence. If a driver receives six points within the first two years of passing their test, they automatically revert to learner status and will have to retake both the theory and practical tests.

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