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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

New technology will catch you using your mobile phone when driving

Police are testing new cameras that can detect drivers using their mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt.

Over the next two months, Traffic Officers in Devon and Cornwall will trial the new technology to detect speeding offences on the roads.

The Acusensus is a van-mounted system that captures images via multiple cameras of every vehicle that passes, even at speeds of up to 186mph.

Artificial intelligence is able to identify if drivers are holding a phone while they drive or are not wearing a seatbelt. If they are, the company will send them either warning letters or notices of intended prosecutions.

Drivers caught on camera as part of the trial can expect the same punishment as if they had been caught on the spot by the police. Mobile phone offenders face a £200 fine and six penalty points while those caught without a seatbelt face a fine of up between £100 and £500

Recently, mobile phone laws were updated, removing an exception and making it illegal to text while driving.

According to Adrian Leisk, superintendent from Devon & Cornwall Police, the technology should provide an additional tool in the road safety armoury. Superintendent Leisk said he hoped the new technology would send a clear message to those who continue to break the law.

“It is dangerous and illegal to use a mobile line while driving, it puts the lives of everyone at risk,” said Superintendent Leisk who also added:

“Even with laws in place, some people sadly continue to text and call while driving.”

The technology demonstrates a clear message to anyone who continues to use their phone while driving. It is meant to be an effective deterrence against road users using their phones while driving.

The AI system was introduced after the new government data showed that there were more road deaths where the victim wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. 30% of people killed while driving in Britain last year were not wearing seat belts, as documented by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Acusensus camera technology was trialled by police in Warwickshire, in conjunction with National Highways.

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