Acusensus road safety award “proves distracted driving being taken seriously”

08.28 | 26 June 2024 |

The UK head of Acusensus is hailing a prestigious award win as a sign people are looking at more than speed when it comes to reducing road deaths and serious injuries.

Geoff Collins, UK general manager of the Australian-based company, is celebrating Acusensus winning the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) 2024 Road Safety Award for its ‘Heads Up’ distracted driving solution.

The award was in recognition of UK-first trials which have taken place, allowing multiple police forces to pilot the AI-driven technology. 

A van and three relocatable trailers allowed the camera technology to be used on almost 100 different occasions, visiting 60 unique sites and operating with 12 different police regions.

‘Heads-Up’ was developed in Australia, where it is widely used to identify drivers using mobile devices or not wearing a seatbelt. The cameras look into the vehicle to check if someone is using a hand-held phone, or not wearing a seatbelt. 

Once the potential offence has been flagged, a human checks the images to see if it should be passed on for further investigation. 

The CIHT judges agreed the trial demonstrated the scale of this significant safety risk on UK roads and proved that a technology solution exists that could make our roads safer for everyone.

Geoff Collins said: “Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous driving behaviours: one of the ‘fatal five’. 

“It has been identified as a problem for many years, but the dramatic growth of smartphone use globally has led to an increased desire to produce a practical, operational solution, delivering long term, wide scale driver behaviour change. 

“In addition, not wearing of seatbelts directly leads to many more serious injuries and deaths, where collisions occur.

“Until recently, there hasn’t been a practical solution to address these behaviours in the UK, beyond costly and manually intensive police operations.

“So this project aimed to achieve three things – to provide a clearer understanding for the magnitude of distracted driving and seatbelt wearing behaviours on UK roads, in live flowing traffic, demonstrate that AI based camera technology is mature and can be used to capture evidential quality records for education or enforcement action and to increase awareness with the public, alerting them that monitoring systems are being used with the intention to improve road safety for all road users.”



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