Officers from the Durham Roads and Armed Policing Unit have detailed how they have been deploying a new sensor test vehicle in recent weeks which uses the latest AI technology to detect drivers who use their mobile phones or are not wearing their seatbelt.
A specialist camera on top of the vehicle can scan all vehicles passing and record any offences, with officers then verifying the results and dealing with offenders.
The force is one of the first in the country to use the technology delivered by Acusensus and AECOM and the recent two-day deployment to the A1(M) and A19 identified 85 drivers breaking the law.
It says a “staggering” 81% of those stopped were not wearing a seatbelt alone and 19% were caught using their mobile phone.
The deployment was followed by Operation Tramline which uses a National Highways-supported HGV cab to identify offenders and most recently, they caught 22 drivers breaking the law.
The majority of these were HGV drivers with nearly half not wearing their seatbelt and half using their mobile phone.
Inspector Kevin Salter said: “It is staggering that we are still having to remind people to wear a seatbelt – the most basic life-saving equipment in a vehicle that has been in place for more than four decades.
“We also know first-hand the fatal consequences that can result in these careless actions by drivers and there really are no excuses in 2023 to be committing these offences.
“We will continue to target selfish drivers and thanks to Op Snap it is now even easier for us to prosecute those who put lives at risk.”
(Picture – Durham Police)