Merseyside Police have announced they are using technology from the road safety company Acusensus which utilises artificial intelligence to identify individuals using their mobile phone or traveling without a seatbelt.
The force says this will support road safety enforcement with the implementation of a mobile device fitted to a van to allow for mobile enforcement meaning the technology can be deployed across Merseyside.
Sergeant Gareth Berry from Merseyside Police said: “Last year 19 people died on our roads and 440 were seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Merseyside. Road safety teams across the country put emphasis on the fatal four (Speeding, drink/drug driving, distracted driving and not wearing a seatbelt) in an attempt to drive down collisions and achieve Vision Zero.”
He went on to explain: “We want people to understand we’re using this technology and will continue to use it to make our roads safer, the new process isn’t about giving tickets, its about improving road safety and encouraging people to stop using their phones and start wearing seatbelts.
“Hopefully now everyone knows we’re using this technology, it will prevent them from using their phone and encourage them to wear seatbelts”.
The device supports two infrared cameras which utilise AI to detect potential offences, this data is then sent to an operator who verifies the reading and marks offences for progression. Offences are then sent to Merseyside Police to process.
Geoff Collins, General Manager of Acusensus in the UK added: “We continue to build the evidence case, demonstrating high levels of illegal mobile phone behaviour and poor seatbelt use – our technology is now ready to help make roads safer, for everyone.”
Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership commented: “We’re hoping the technology will bring about a change in behaviour. The vast majority of the public recognise the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and understand the seriousness of not wearing a seatbelt. For those who don’t appreciate the risks associated with both, we’re hoping this device will be enough to prevent them from continuing to put themselves and other at risk of harm”.
(Picture – Merseyside Police)