UK Case Study – ‘Heads Up’ Arrives in Devon & Cornwall
Vision Zero South West is the road safety partnership working to stop all fatal and severe collisions in Devon & Cornwall by 2040.
In 2021, 47 people were killed and 647 were seriously injured on the roads of Devon & Cornwall. It is known that distracted driving and not wearing a seatbelt both have a significant impact on the risk and severity of serious collisions.
“Working with this pioneering technology around distracted driving and lack of wearing of seat belts, we have a proactive capability to enforce 2 of the ‘fatal five’ cause of serious collisions.”Adrian Leisk, Head of Road Safety, Devon & Cornwall Police
Two Acusensus ‘Heads Up’ trailers were operated in the region, allowing for 24/7 monitoring of all vehicles travelling through selected sites. These systems provided clear evidence of the size of the problem, allowing the partnership to identify, understand and where appropriate prosecute these behaviours.
In the 6 week operation in summer 2023, ‘Heads Up’ detected 1045 drivers using a mobile phone and 1329 not wearing a seatbelt.
“We have exciting plans to work together in the coming months to pioneer the latest iteration of detection capability into the UK.”Adrian Leisk
The ‘Heads-Up’ trailer is an extremely flexible tool, allowing for monitoring on virtually any road type, from 20mph limits to high-speed motorways. Because of the advanced imaging and illumination technology used, violation records can be captured 24/7, even with vehicles travelling at high speed. Two camera angles allow views that capture both ‘phone to ear’ and ‘phone held low’ behaviours.
AI software acts as a powerful pre-filter, automatically flagging up likely violations for human review, allowing thousands of images to be evaluated in real-time, without the risk of boredom or inconsistency that would come from a human viewer.
The specific geometry and components used by the system are optimised to produce evidential records, suitable for prosecution purposes. Violation records include a GPS time and location stamp, supporting potential prosecutions.