In Brief

Police found using speed cameras for non-speeding offences

More than a third of UK forces use the technology to enforce mobile phone and seatbelt laws

Police forces are using mobile speed cameras to hunt drivers who commit non-speeding offences, a study has revealed. 

An investigation run by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart found that 16 of the 44 police forces in the UK regularly use speed cameras to catch drivers who fail to wear seatbelts, or who use handheld mobile phones, reports Auto Express.  

Forces in Kent, North Yorkshire, North and South Wales, Hampshire, Suffolk and the West Midlands are among the forces named in the report, the magazine says.

Officers sitting in roadside vans equipped with speed cameras recorded more than 8,000 unbelted motorists in 2016, according to The Sun. A further 1,000 drivers were caught using handheld mobiles phones at the wheel. 

However, some forces are not using the cameras for non-speeding offences because they are unsure whether the footage will be approved for prosecution by the Home Office, the newspaper says.

IAM RoadSmart chief executive Sarah Sillars says police forces should be allowed to use mobile safety cameras to catch drivers committing a range of offences, in addition to speeding, but only if the practice is well publicised. 

“If drivers don’t know about this added enforcement technique then its impact will be reduced,” Sillars says. 

But she adds that police should provide “clear and consistent guidelines on what the cameras are being used for” and “how the images are being used as evidence”.

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