AI-Powered ‘Road Safety Camera’ Trial to go Nationwide

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) road safety cameras will now be adopted by police forces across the UK

AECOM Road Safety Camera

A National Highways Trial of road safety cameras that are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reported to be going nationwide, with ten police forces lining up to adopt the technology.

The trial of the system, which began in 2021, uses cars kitted out with the tech’ that can move with the flow of traffic, or static trailers which can be left at the side of the road. An array of cameras are raised above the vehicle or trailer on a boom, allowing the cameras to capture a full picture of the entire road. 

The equipment is looking to catch people who are either travelling without using their seat belts, or people using their mobile phones while driving. The AI part of the technology determines if it ‘thinks’ that an offence is being committed, but unlike static speed cameras, it won’t immediately issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). Instead, the image is sent on to the relevant police force, which will then determine whether or not it needs to pursue further action.

National Highways claims that drivers are four times more likely to be in a crash if they use their phone while driving and twice as likely to die in a crash if they don’t wear a seatbelt. If found guilty of such offences, drivers can be fined up to £500 for not wearing a seatbelt 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.

The success of the early part of the trial will now be extended, with Durham, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley and Sussex police forces now joining the extended part of the trial.

Speaking about the extension, the 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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Images from National Highways and ITS International