Britons warned of revolutionary AI speed cameras capable of ‘turning the tide’ on driving law offences

Speed cameras

New cameras can monitor if drivers break the law

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 09/07/2024

- 09:16

New cameras have the potential to do 'anything and everything'

Experts have warned Britons of groundbreaking new technology which could see motorists hit with tougher punishments for breaching driving laws.

The technology involves using artificial intelligence cameras on roads to monitor driver behaviours and can automatically detect if an offence is committed.

Many have suggested that the cameras offer an additional layer of security to the police who “can’t be everywhere all of the time”.

The warning comes after the Department for Transport approved the widespread use of AI cameras by local authorities which will begin rolling them out across the UK.

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A speed limit sign

11 police forces have rolled out AI cameras so far


Currently, the AI technology is being trialled by 11 police forces around the UK including Durham, Greater Manchester Police, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley Police, Sussex and Warwickshire.

The cameras can capture an image of the vehicle from a shallow angle to help detect whether a driver is using a phone while behind the wheel.

Rod Dennis, road safety spokesperson at the RAC, explained that far too many drivers are “still prepared to put lives at risk” by engaging in dangerous practices.

The new cameras will be able to monitor if drivers break the speed limit, use their mobile phones, fail to wear a seatbelt or drive in a poor manner.

Dennis warned that despite the penalties many motorists face for breaking driving laws, he said a lack of enforcement has meant many drivers have no fear of being caught.

Drivers caught speeding can face a £100 fine and three penalty points added to a driving licence, but in some cases, there is the option to attend a speed awareness course.

The expert added: “AI-equipped cameras that can automatically detect drivers breaking the law offer a chance for the tide to be turned.

“The police can’t be everywhere all of the time, so it makes sense that forces look to the best available technology that can help them catch drivers acting illegally.”

RAC research found that drivers are “widely supportive” of tougher enforcement of the law around handheld mobile phone use, with nearly half of them (47 per cent) saying that camera technology like this is the best way of doing so”.

Drivers who use a handheld device behind the wheel could get slapped with six penalty points and a £200 fine.

This includes using a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any device that can send and receive data while driving or riding a motorcycle.

DfT figures showed that in 2020, 17 people were killed and 114 people were seriously injured through mobile phone-related incidents.


Speed cameras

Drivers caught speeding can be fined £100


Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, commented that cameras that can do “everything and anything” can only be a good thing for drivers.

He explained that from a road safety perspective it means there is “less chance of getting away” with reckless driving.

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