After 300 drivers were caught in just three days, an urgent warning has been issued that new AI cameras will be used to detect traffic offences.
Motorists in Cornwall have been fined when the new technology was tested on the A30 near Launceston this week.
Mounted on a large rig attached to a van, the cameras use AI to detect crimes like not wearing a seat belt or using a phone, rather than just speeding.
Such cameras have been used before, but typically required a human operator to manually record suspected crimes.
In just 72 hours on the busy federal highway, the new devices registered a whopping 297 violations of the road traffic regulations.
These were divided into 117 mobile phone offenses and 180 seat belt offenses.
All were spotted by the AI and then checked by a real person to make sure people weren’t unfairly fined.
Similar devices were deployed across Devon and Cornwall for a 15-day test last September during which 630 offenders were caught.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that drivers caught would receive either a warning letter or a notice of intended prosecution, depending on the seriousness of their offence.
The head of the police’s traffic safety department, Adrian Leisk, praised the work of the technologies but called the number of crimes detected “disappointing”.
He said: “When we tested this technology last year, we were disappointed with the number of drivers who were found not to be wearing their seat belts.”
“The initial results of our recent operation show that there is also a problem with cell phone use while driving, which is both dangerous and illegal.
“We’re using this new technology to send a clear message to anyone who continues to use their phone behind the wheel: they’re being caught.”
If you’re caught using your mobile phone while driving you can face a fine of £200 and 6 points, while not wearing a seat belt can be fined £500.
This comes after motorists were strongly warned that an angry reaction when overtaking a speed camera could see them face a hefty fine.
Meanwhile, a local council stunned local residents by ordering them to spy on drivers and report neighbors who broke traffic rules.