Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act imposes a legal obligation on the registered keeper of a vehicle to provide the driver’s identity at the time of an alleged road traffic offence.
Failure to name the driver can face severe penalties, including:
A new traffic enforcement van, equipped with hi-tech cameras and AI technology, is now in operation. The van, operated by Safer Roads Humber and National Highways, is designed to detect potential lawbreakers, including those who are speeding, using their mobile phones while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
On its first day of service, the van detected 56 motorists suspected of breaking the law, by using their mobile phones while driving or failing to wear a seatbelt. The cameras, attached to a tall pole that protrudes from the roof of the van, look down into vehicles to identify potential offenders. These images are then reviewed by humans, who assess the situation and process any offences identified.
The use of unmarked speed camera vans has recently been trialled in Northamptonshire, and if successful, it could be rolled out across the rest of the UK. The unmarked vans are existing speed vans that have been re-wrapped in a matte grey coating instead of the usual bright orange and yellow markings that are commonly seen on UK roads.
The company behind the speed awareness technology, Road Angel, is urging motorists to take responsibility for driving within the limit, regardless of enforcement measures being used by police.
Last year, almost a quarter of drivers admitted to using a handheld device while driving to make or answer a call within the previous 12 months. What’s more, 18% admitted to using a mobile phone to check social media and emails or to send a text while driving. These shocking statistics come from the RAC Report on Motoring 2017.
In an effort to stop drivers using their phones in the car, Norfolk Council is testing smart road signs that are capable of detecting phone use by picking up radio signals emitted by mobiles phones during a call. If a signal is detected, then a smart sign further along the road will flash a warning to a driver, telling the driver to stop using their phone immediately. This does not apply to Bluetooth signals, as Bluetooth connected calls are legal in the UK, and the scanner has been designed to distinguish between the radio and Bluetooth signals.
New punishments introduced this week for drivers caught speeding in England and Wales have provoked a mixed reaction among police, press, speeding fine solicitors, motorists, and road safety groups
Although road safety groups have welcomed the new guidelines, some police officers and press commentators have expressed concern that the new regime will only increase the burden on the courts system.
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