PUBLISHED: 11:07 14 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:07 14 November 2020

Cameras which monitor traffic could be used to catch drivers who commit offences, if the law is changed. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Cameras which monitor traffic could be used to catch drivers who commit offences, if the law is changed. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Artificial intelligence cameras surveying traffic in Norfolk could be used to catch drivers committing offences in the future – if the law is changed.

Norfolk County Council has been making use of the cameras to monitor traffic movements and, in 2018, used technology to detect whether drivers were using mobile phones.

When that system indicated a mobile phone was being used, road signs were activated as the driver passed, urging the driver to stop using the phone.

A number of cameras already catch drivers who go into bus lanes in Norwich, but council bosses are exploring whether they could use technology to catch drivers committing other offences.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: “Under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act, local authorities can apply for powers to take on further enforcement themselves, which Norfolk County Council has done in relation to parking and bus lane contraventions, reducing the burden on the police.

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“However, unlike parking and bus lane contraventions, the provisions relating to moving traffic offences have not been activated as the necessary secondary legislation has never been passed.

“These would grant local authorities powers to enforce offences such as disregarding one-way systems, entering pedestrian zones, disregarding box junction markings, or making banned turns.

“These powers are in place in London under separate legislation and the Welsh government has passed the secondary legislation covering its jurisdiction.

“We already use cameras to monitor and survey traffic flowing around the county and at problem junctions, an extension of this could be to use cameras to monitor for vehicles that are committing offences in the same places.

“This would be in line with all relevant legislation that governs the use of camera technology in enforcement.”

The council is also in the early stages of developing a trial which would use technology to show the public how many on-street car parking spaces are available.

If successful, that information would be available to drivers via websites and road signs. Such signs already operate in Norwich for the bigger car parks, but the council is keen to extend it.

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