Driver Alert as new tech launched to catch you using your phone behind the wheel — but it’s not all bad news
Motorists have been warned about new technology that can automatically detect whether a driver is using their mobile behind the wheel.
The new van, which is currently being trialled in partnership with Warwickshire Police, can also tell if someone is wearing their seatbelt.
The vans contain detection devices that are being used to help motorists identify driving in a dangerous manner and are expected to help promote road safety.
It is already on motorways and major A-roads across England.
The research project hopes to gain a better understanding of the scale of the problem associated with dangerous motoring offenses while vehicles in use are sitting motionless on the side of the road.
The “Sensor Test Vehicle” is equipped with multiple cameras that can record footage of passing motorists.
Images taken by the cameras are processed using artificial intelligence (AI) to determine whether motorists were using handheld mobile phones or if the driver and passenger were without seatbelts.
Drivers who are seen on their phones or traveling without seatbelts will be sent a warning letter in partnership with the police force, informing them of the dangers of their actions.
The warning letters, issued by the police, will also remind drivers that they can be fined up to £500 for not wearing a seatbelt, as well as receiving penalty points.
In addition, drivers will also be asked to complete a brief survey that will be used to inform research being conducted by national highways.
The vans are initially scheduled for three months of testing, with findings set to inform next steps and any future deployments, along with additional technology to detect tailgating offenses to them. Likely to be upgraded.
National Highways Chief of Road Safety Jeremy Phillips said: “Safety is our top priority and we want everyone to reach their destination safely.
“Unfortunately, there are still drivers who do not feel the need to wear seatbelts, get distracted by their phones or travel too close to the vehicle in front.
“We want to see if we can change driver behavior and therefore improve road safety for all. Our advice is clear; please leave enough room, gear up and give your full attention to the road. “
RAC Head of Road Policy, Nicholas Laiss, said: “We are extremely pleased to see the National Highways and Warwickshire Police working together on this, and very much hope that other police forces will do their best to make our roads safer.”