А pioneering trial of mobile technology utilising artificial intelligence is poised to undergo nationwide expansion. National Highways, the government agency responsible for the country's road network, has announced plans to extend the deployment of innovative cameras designed to automatically detect drivers flouting seatbelt regulations or using mobile phones while behind the wheel. The expansion will see the involvement of ten additional police forces across the nation.

The advanced cameras, affixed to vehicles or trailers, boast multiple lenses capturing various angles of both the driver and their passengers. Upon detection, the captured data undergoes meticulous processing before being relayed to law enforcement authorities. Subsequently, the implicated drivers are promptly notified of their infractions through warning letters elucidating the hazards associated with their conduct.

Originally introduced in 2021, the trial harnesses technology to identify motorists engaging in unsafe practices on the road. The expanded trial will run until March 2025. 

According to findings from police research, drivers using mobile phones while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a road collision. Furthermore, individuals neglecting to wear seatbelts face a twofold increase in the risk of fatality in the event of a crash. Not wearing a seatbelt may cost drivers up to £500, while using a mobile device while driving is a possible £1,000 fine and six penalty points.

"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," National Highways Head of National Road User Safety Delivery, Matt Staton, commented. "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."

Participating in this new trial are esteemed police forces including Durham, Greater Manchester Police, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley Police, and Sussex.