Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Artificial Intelligence police van detects drivers using mobile phones

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The van found 86 drivers suspected of using a phone and 273 people not wearing a seat belt.

A police spy camera van using Artificial Intelligence (AI) has detected hundreds of people using mobile phones at the wheel or not wearing seat belts.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police carried out the operation from 17 to 21 July, targeting commercial vehicles.

It took place on the A34 and the A303.

Simon Gomer, head of the safer roads unit, said the technology showed how prolific the offences were.

The AI-equipped van uses two cameras to catch the footage.

The first is set at a shallow angle and can identify a mobile phone close to the driver’s ear or whether a seat belt is being worn.

The second has a steeper view to see if a mobile phone is being used for texting.

After the offences are automatically identified by the AI system, the results are double-checked by humans before being passed to the police for review.

Mr Gomer said: “These are very exciting times and this has been a great opportunity for both forces to utilise the latest in AI technology.

“But the results we’ve had from just one week sadly show how prolific these offences are.

“We will continue to spread the message that distracted driving kills, these offences will be punished, and social habits need to change.”

The van identified 86 drivers suspected of using a phone, 273 drivers or passengers suspected of not wearing a seat belt, and 132 mechanical offences related to issues with the vehicles during the week-long operation.

In addition there were five arrests for drug-driving and disqualified driving.

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