Stealthy Jenoptik smart cameras that can spot drivers on their phone roll out across UK | CAR Magazine

Stealthy Jenoptik smart cameras that can spot drivers on their phone roll out across UK

Published: 02 July 2024 Updated: 03 July 2024

► Smart cameras set for national roll-out
► Jenoptik camera can see inside cars
► Phone-driving predicted to skyrocket

The latest generation of smart cameras is being rolled out across the UK, harnessing the latest AI tech to see what drivers are doing behind the wheel.

Jenoptik VECTOR-SR safety camera surveillance technology can detect distracted drivers using their phones or not wearing a seatbelt. A government study analysed by Road Angel has revealed that a whopping 40,000 UK drivers could be caught and punished as authorities adopt the new technology.

The National Highways trial began in 2021 and police forces have been using the technology to identify distracted drivers. Those caught received warning letters about the risks of their behaviour.

What routes are the cameras being installed on?

Drivers will see the new camera technology rolled out on 25 routes in the north of England, following successful trials in Greater Manchester, Devon, Cornwall, and Wales.

Jenoptik Vector-SR speed camera

Transport Scotland has already signed a deal worth almost half a million pounds for installation across the road network around Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the rest of the UK set to follow.

The cameras have been highly effective in catching speeding motorists across multiple lanes in both directions. Additionally, the VECTOR-SR doubles as a red-light camera and is capable of snapping motorists who aren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Trials in Devon in 2023 saw four of the new cameras catch 3280 drivers for speeding in just two weeks.

How does the latest smart cameras work? 

Unlike older models with their box-like structures, the new smart cameras are smaller, less noticeable and operate without needing road markings or a flash to catch unsuspecting drivers breaking the law. They’re remarkably stealthy.  

The advanced cameras capture footage of passing cars, snapping a selection of digital photos of the drivers. Images of motorists breaking the law are then passed on to the police for consideration and further action if necessary. 

If caught, drivers holding a handheld device behind the wheel could face six penalty points and a £200 fine, increasing to £1000 and a driving ban if taken to court.

What do you think of the latest generation of smart cameras? Be sure to sound off in the comments below

By Paula Cullington

Resident ownership writer and consumer journalist, helping motorists navigate the car world