AI cameras catching drivers on phones get national rollout

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A new type of speed camera[1], which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and prosecute motorists using their mobile phone[2] at the wheel, is now being rolled out across 10 police forces in England in a bid to eradicate the problem.

“Working with our police partners we want to reduce such dangerous driving[3] 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,” Head of National Road User Safety Delivery at National Highways. Matt Staton said.

“We will continue to invest in technology that could help make sure everyone using our roads gets home safe and well.”

An AI speed camera deployed on the side of the road

The cameras[4], which began popping up in England in 2021, are now being used across Durham, Greater Manchester Police, Humberside, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley Police, and Sussex.

Alongside those using a mobile phone, they can also detect speed, as well as drivers not wearing a seatbelt. Each unit will have multiple cameras to give the most complete view of drivers and passengers, with the kit mounted on either a trailer, or specialist van.

Back when the scheme started in 2021, those caught were sent warnings about their behaviour, however images will now be sent to the police for review. Drivers can be fined up to £500 for not wearing a seat belt, with phone users getting up to six points and a £1000 fine, too.

A driver seen using a mobile phone at the wheel

“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,” Staton added.

The cameras are produced in partnership with engineering firm AECOM and will run until March 2025. National Highways also say there is plans to fix them to overhead gantries too.

Back in 2023, Devon and Cornwall Police have deployed a free-standing AI road safety camera[5] on the A30 near Launceston – catching 297 offenders in just three days.

“Expanding the deployments and integrating data processing with police systems is an important step towards this technology making a significant contribution to road safety,” Technical Director at AECOM, Dr Jamie Uff added. 


  1. ^ speed camera (
  2. ^ mobile phone (
  3. ^ dangerous driving (
  4. ^ cameras (
  5. ^ Devon and Cornwall Police have deployed a free-standing AI road safety camera (