Using a new artificial intelligence (AI) system, police in Devon and Cornwall have spotted almost 300 drivers breaking the law in just three days.
Installed in a multi-camera vehicle, Acusensus helps determine if laws have been broken by processing images of passing motorists.
Potential violations – such as driving with a mobile phone, not using a seat belt and speeding – are then routed to a human for review.
If a violation is detected, the driver will receive a warning or a declaration of intent under criminal law, depending on the circumstances and severity.
First introduced in September 2022, the system has now been rolled out on the A30 near Launceston, Cornwall. In just 72 hours, a total of 117 mobile phone offenses and 180 seat belt offenses were recorded.
In 2020, a national road safety survey concluded that 55 percent of 66,000 respondents said they witnessed traffic offenses on a daily basis, including using a cell phone or not wearing a seat belt. Another 81 percent agreed these offenses required stronger enforcement by police.
Earlier this month, in just six hours of surveillance, more than 1,800 motorists were caught speeding on a stretch of road in Torbay, Devon. The recorded top speed was 75 miles per hour.
“When we tested this technology last year, we were disappointed by the number of drivers found not wearing seat belts – especially as serious and fatal collisions with people who are not wearing seat belts continue to occur. A third of all fatal accidents in 2021 involved someone who was not wearing a seat belt,” said Adrian Leisk, Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Road Safety Officer.
“The initial results of our recent operation show that there is also a problem with cell phone use while driving, which is both dangerous and illegal.
“While we know that the majority of drivers in Devon and Cornwall are safe, respectful and conscientious drivers, unfortunately there is a minority who still put people’s lives at risk.
“We’re using this new technology to send a clear message to anyone who continues to use their phone behind the wheel: they’ve been caught.
“Whether it’s from the Acusensus cameras, from a passing officer, or from video footage submitted via Op Snap, the result will be the same and you’ll receive a hefty fine and six penalty points – which could be enough to cost some drivers their license.” ‘ and livelihood.
“It’s just not worth it. Before you start your journey, stash your phone in the glove compartment or someplace out of reach so the temptation won’t be great. If it’s an emergency, make sure you pull over and stop the car before making the call.”