Extra Police Forces Join AI Road Safety Camera Trial

AI may soon be a mainstay presence in road safety as a new trial using artificial intelligence to track driving violations is set to expand across the UK. National Highways will begin to incorporate more areas into the trial, with the support of local police forces.

Understanding the Trial

The trial is set to use artificial intelligence to see if it can be a proper tool incorporated into road safety measures. The new cameras, which incorporate AI, can detect motorists who aren’t wearing a seatbelt or committing an offence like using their mobile phone while driving. The new scheme is going to be recorded and monitored now by ten extra police forces across the country.

The new kit they will be using can be mounted directly onto a vehicle or attached to a trailer. There are multiple cameras in use at once, all giving different viewpoints of both the driver and the passengers. The trial uses modern technology for the sake of spotting motorists who are committing offences and has been in use since 2021 on a trial basis.

All of the data in use is processed and sent to the proper police force, who then contact the driver committing an offence and inform them of their actions via a warning letter.

A Shocking Percentage

The latest police research indicates that drivers are up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are using a mobile phone or being distracted in another way whilst driving.

With this in mind, it is not exactly surprising to know that 10 new police forces are participating in the trial. As a result, the areas which are covered are Staffordshire, Durham, Greater Manchester, West Mercia, Humber, Norfolk, Thames Valley, Northamptonshire and Sussex.

The trial was first introduced on the 19th of February 2021, and will run until the end of March 2025. It’s in partnership with AECOM.

It’s worth noting that there are plans for the technology to be fixed to specific points on the motorway and other roads giving a full view of all lanes with no obstruction. However, this is currently not scheduled to take place at the moment, so it’s just a case waiting for official confirmation.

As previously said, the images captured on the cameras are processed and sent to the police for consideration, who have the final decisions to whether any action needs to be taken. For example, any driver who is found to be breaking the law by not wearing a seatbelt could be fined up to £500.

Expert Opinions

Matt Staron is the National Highways Head of National Road User Delivery Safety, and had this to say on the subject:

“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.”