Drivers rage new artificial intelligence cameras not fit for UK roads as they 'invade' privacy

Drivers rage new artificial intelligence cameras not fit for UK roads as they 'invade' privacy

WATCH: UK drivers caught using their phones while driving

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 29/03/2024

- 12:27

Updated: 03/04/2024

- 10:00

One in five say cameras breach their privacy

Drivers have complained that the roll of artificial intelligence cameras is an invasion of privacy with many unsure that these devices are fit for UK roads.

As more cameras using AI have begun to appear across the UK, despite being seen as more efficient, drivers have claimed that they breach their privacy while on the roads.

The AI-based cameras were originally trialled out by National Highways across 10 regions, including Greater Manchester, Sussex and Northamptonshire, with them now expanding to different areas.

Safety cameras were used on major roads, including motorways and A-roads. The trial began on 19 February and will run until March 2025.

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Old speed camerasThe new speed cameras can view two lanes of traffic PA

However, according to research, while drivers recognise that AI camera will make roads safer in the long-term, one in five drivers feel they violate their privacy.

Louise Thomas, motor expert at, said: “The introduction of AI cameras means drivers can now be snapped for driving without a seatbelt on, or for using their phone while driving.

“Having this technology in place is intended to improve road safety and protect both road users and pedestrians from dangerous driving.

“It's clear there's a need for more education on this technology for to understand how they'll be used.”

Through the cameras, drivers could face £2,500 penalties if caught breaking the law in their vehicles.

The mobile technology will be able to automatically detect if motorists are breaking road rules that include using phones behind the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt.

Thomas added that new s cameras are primarily there to improve road safety rather than catch out bad drivers.

She explained that with recent changes to the Highway Code to account for the advancements in technology, there's no doubt some confusion around what is now considered illegal.

If a driver is caught breaking the law behind the wheel by using a mobile phone for example, they could be fined £1,000.

This penalty rises to £2,500 if driving a lorry or bus, with drivers also risk being handed six penalty points and banned from driving in more extreme cases.

Jake Smith, director of Absolute Reg, explained that the introduction of the AI cameras will inevitably catch many drivers out on UK roads, leaving them with hefty fines and penalties.

Although it is illegal to hold or use a phone while driving, or travel without a seatbelt, many motorists fail to follow the rules, he added.


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If using a mobile phone behind the wheel drivers could be fined £1,000


The National Highways trial was first launched in 2021 to spot when Britons were driving without seatbelts or on the phone by police.

Findings from the trial found that drivers are four times more likely to be in a crash if on the phone while driving and twice as likely to die in a crash if they don’t wear a seatbelt.

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