Technology could ‘vastly increase’ detection of mobile phone offences

12.42 | 2 December 2021 | |

A leading enforcement technology company is preparing to roll-out a roadside solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically spot when someone is using a mobile device or not wearing a seatbelt.

Jenoptik has been working with Acusensus, an Australian company who have already implemented the solution in New South Wales (NSW), to bring it to the UK market. 

The AI technology takes pictures of the offence – which can then be double-checked by a traffic officer.

Since the technology was introduced in NSW in 2019, Jenoptik says there has been a ‘significant and sustained’ reduction in road fatalities compared to other states and territories in Australia.

Jenoptik hopes to roll-out the technology in the UK in early 2022 – and says it has the potential to ‘vastly increase the chances that those irresponsible enough to use their phone whilst driving will be caught’. 

The announcement has been made following the Government’s tightening of laws around using a handheld phone, unveiled last month.

Jenoptik has welcomed the move – but says enforcement is key to make it a success.

Geoff Collins, deputy managing director at Jenoptik, said: “Our role is to make the roads safer, and so we fully support these new rules because they will close loopholes that have meant irresponsible people getting away with dangerously using their mobiles, while driving. 

“But as we all know, there’s a difference between a law being in place, and people obeying it; and for that you need appropriate enforcement.

“The good news is that we have been testing a roadside solution that uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically spot when someone is using a mobile device or not wearing a seatbelt, and we’re therefore able to automatically identify those rulebreakers.  

“This means we can take pictures of their offence, let a human double-check it, and then any penalty can be issued.”



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