New 'Ultra Cameras' hit UK roads that can catch drivers speeding, using their phones & not wearing seatbelts | The Sun

NEW "Ultra Cameras" have hit UK roads, with the ability to catch drivers using phones or not wearing their seatbelts.

The advanced tech has been introduced in Greater Manchester, with a wider rollout expected to follow.

Unlike traditional cameras, the new devices can monitor traffic in both directions and do not rely on road markings to assess speeding.

They will operate in the Great Manchester area 24/7, 365 days a year.

Once a speeding driver is photographed, the camera can then also assess whether other offences have been committed.

This includes whether the person behind the wheel is wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone at the time of the offence.



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The identification of other crimes could see extra penalties handed down on top of speeding fines.

Speeding can attract a charge of up to £1,000 on normal roads and £2,500 on a motorway, as well as three penalty points.

However, you could see another £200 and six points added to that for using a phone and another £500 for a seatbelt.

This means that being caught in the act for the full trio could see you up to £3,200 out of pocket and two-thirds of the way towards a driving ban.

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Another key difference between the "Ultra Cameras" and their predecessors is that they use infra-red lights to take clear images of offending drivers.

As such, you may not even know if you are snapped by one until the penalty charge is dropped through your letterbox since the camera will not flash when activated.

They will still be painted yellow, though, so that they are visible even in low light.

However, Greater Manchester Police emphasised that the cameras do not make use of AI technology and will only assess images of drivers already caught speeding for other offences.

The assurance was much needed after The Sun exclusively revealed in May that AI cameras could be spying inside your motor with chilling 4D scanning features.

And over 300 motorists were caught out in just three days when similar devices were trialled in Cornwall in August.

Superintendent Gareth Parkin of GMP's Safer Transport Team said: "The new and upgraded speed cameras across the city region will ensure that drivers adhere to road speeds and do not engage in reckless or anti-social driving.

"Speed limits are put in place to ensure our roads are safe.

"Excessive speeds increase the chances of driver error, increase the time it takes for a vehicle to stop and can also increase fatalities in the event of a collision.

"GMP will not allow the safety of our roads to be compromised by dangerous drivers, and appropriate action will always be taken against offenders."

The new cameras have been paid for by the Challenge Fund, set up by Mayor Andy Burnham, as part of the Vision Zero programme, which targets the complete elimination of road deaths in the region.

Peter Boulton, the Head of Highways at Transport for Greater Manchester, added: "Any death or serious injury on our roads is one too many, and speeding is the leading cause of fatal road injuries which have a devastating impact on people's lives.

"By investing in these safety cameras, we are underlining our commitment to Vision Zero, our ambition to reduce and eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads, therefore making Greater Manchester a safer place for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motorists."

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