Trials of new roadside camera technology expands around the country

Source: Intelligent Instructor

More and better cameras

Trials of new roadside camera technology expands around the country

New roadside camera technology is proving to be an important new tool for catching illegal drivers.

The cameras are capable of identifying drivers not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone while driving .

Trials have been taking place with Dorset and Cornwall forces, but ae new being extended to other regions.

Clever tech

This new technology captures footage of passing motorists that are then processed using artificial intelligence (AI). The software analyses whether the motorists could be using a handheld mobile phone or not wearing a seat belt.

Any potentially incriminating images are then passed to police to consideration if further action should to be taken.

Drivers not wearing a seatbelt can be fined up to £500 in addition to penalty points.

Using a mobile phone while driving can result in a fine of up to £1,000 and six penalty points.



National picture

National Highways began trialling the technology in 2021, with Devon and Cornwall Police deploying the technology in 2022.

During the first couple of weeks, almost 600 people were caught by police not wearing seatbelts on Devon and Cornwall roads.

The cameras caught 590 people not wearing seatbelts and 40 people driving while using a mobile phone.

These trials are now being extended to more police forces in order to gather further information. If they continue to be successful, the technology could be rolled out nationwide .

The 10 police forces taking part in the expanded trial are:

  • Durham,
  • Greater Manchester,
  • Humberside,
  • Staffordshire,
  • West Mercia,
  • Northamptonshire,
  • Wiltshire,
  • Norfolk
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Sussex.

On your side

The device is mounted on a vehicle or trailer.

Using multiple cameras, different views of the driver and their passengers can be gathered at the same time.

Going forward, the plans is for the technology to be fixed to overhead gantries covering all lanes.

Dr Jamie Uff, technical director at AECOM has been managing the deployment of the technology. He says the worked has “highlighted the scale of the issue, has shown that technology can play a valuable role”.

Uff adds that “there is much still to be understood about driver behaviour given the new insights gained”. He describes it as “an important step towards this technology making a significant contribution to road safety”.


Although the research is funded by National Highways, enforcement of motoring offences will remain a matter for individual police forces.

The latest trial began this week and will run until March 2025.

Matt Staton, National Highways head of national road user safety delivery, believes th technology will work as a great deterrent.

“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.”

2024-03-02T12:27:57+00:002 March 2024|
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