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New cameras can detect drivers using mobile phones or not wearing seatbelts

A trial of new mobile technology which can automatically detect motorists who are not wearing a seatbelt or are using mobile phones while driving is being extended, with police in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire among those to use it.

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The camera can be deployed on a van

A group of 10 police forces, including Staffordshire and West Mercia, will be using the new kit which is mounted to a vehicle or trailer and has multiple cameras giving differing views of the driver and their passengers.

The National Highways trial first launched in 2021 when motorists spotted driving without seatbelts or on the phone by police using the technology were sent warning letters informing them of the dangers of their behaviour.

Research shows that you are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone while driving and twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt.

In partnership with business AECOM, the research is now being extended to work with more police forces to help learn more about how the technology could work on National Highways roads and inform a possible future roll-out nationwide. The latest trial began on Monday and will run until March 2025.

The camera set up for operation