An expert has weighed in on new speed cameras which can look inside vehicles and aim to make the roads safer for all users.
The new “ultra” cameras have already been rolled out across Greater Manchester and use low-light technology to catch speeding drivers, although they will no longer be “flashed”.
The VECTOR-SR devices, which have been developed by Jenoptik, will support the Vision Zero initiative which aims to eliminate all road fatalities and serious injuries.
Both lanes of traffic can be caught by the sophisticated new cameras, which also look different compared to the standard cameras drivers are used to.
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Louise Thomas, car insurance expert at Confused.com, commented on the speed cameras, informing drivers of the changes that have been introduced.
She said: “Ultra speed cameras are a big advance in comparison to the standard speed camera which many drivers are used to.
“Not only will these cameras be able to detect drivers speeding on either side of the road, but they’ll also be able to see inside driver’s vehicles too.
“That’s as it uses technology to see if drivers are wearing their seatbelt or if they’re breaking driving laws, such as using their mobile phone or other handheld devices.”
Greater Manchester Police addressed reports that the cameras use AI, calling it a “common misconception”.
Instead, the VECTOR-SR devices solely catch speeding drivers and do not process them using artificial intelligence.
If someone is caught breaking the limit, they could also be prosecuted for other offences like the use of mobile phones behind the wheel or for not wearing a seatbelt.
Louise Thomas continued, saying: “Some drivers might be concerned about these new cameras being an invasion of their privacy, but their purpose is to keep all road users safe.
“These cameras can reduce the risk of distracted driving, which ties in with important changes made to the Highway Code earlier in the year.
“This included changes to how drivers use technology in their cars while driving, and harsher punishments for those who don’t follow the new rules.”
Louise Thomas also highlighted how drivers can be hit with major punishments if they are distracted behind the wheel, including fines, points and even prosecution.
If someone uses their phone behind the wheel, they could be hit with a £200 fine and up to six points on their licence.
People who are found guilty of such actions and who have only passed their test in the last two years will lose their licence.
Motorists can even get three penalty points on their licence if they do not have a full view of the road and traffic ahead if the phone is in the way.
Vision Zero aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries to zero
She concluded: “So although the introduction of ultra cameras might be an annoyance to some, their purpose is to ultimately make our roads safer and to reduce the risk of drivers facing punishments as a result.”