High-tech road safety van to be deployed around the Humber region this week

The road enforcement vehicle in operation last year
-Credit: (Image: Duncan Young)


High-tech equipment able to catch drivers using handheld mobile phones and not wearing seat belts will be deployed around the Humber region next week.

Safer Roads Humber has once again teamed up with National Highways and Acusensus to utilise the new enforcement equipment following a successful trial in March 2023.

The detection unit will be rolled out across the area during the week starting Monday, June 10. Following the pilot last year, it was reported the new road safety van had caught nearly 300 motorists potentially breaking the law in just five days around East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

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Ahead of the rollout, partnership manager Ian Robertson said: "Safer Roads Humber is pleased to be working with partners again on this project to detect drivers who use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving or failing to use their seat belt.

"National research shows that most drivers comply with these traffic laws, but a small minority choose not to, putting themselves and others at risk."

He added: "This state-of-the-art equipment increases our enforcement capability; our current safety camera vans can already detect mobile phone users, seat belt offences and other offences such as careless driving, but this specialist equipment gives us added capacity."

The mobile phone and seat belt unit uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify motorists potentially breaking the law. The image is then sent to an officer who completes a secondary check and only those committing offences will be prosecuted.

Motorists caught on their phones while driving face £200 fines and six penalty points. People who do not wear a seatbelt face a fine of £100. The driver is responsible for any passengers under the age of 14. Where possible, those detected may be offered an education course as an alternative to prosecution.

Safer Roads Humber is raising awareness of the 'Fatal Four' which are the main causes of collisions.

These are speeding, using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving resulting in distraction, driving while impaired through alcohol and drugs, and not wearing a seat belt. Safer Roads Humber routinely detects these offences apart from impairment which is detected by Humberside Police who enforce all traffic laws across the area.

Ian Robertson said: "Using a handheld phone whilst driving whether texting, checking your status or ringing friends is a very deliberate act.

"Not wearing your seat belt is a very deliberate act and if you're involved in a collision, you are more likely to be killed or seriously injured. We aim to educate as many offenders as possible, but anyone driving in this manner also risks prosecution."