Dutch police using smart camera system to spot drivers using mobiles
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Dutch police have started using smart cameras to catch drivers who use their mobiles while driving. The so-called MONOcam system, which has software that “recognizes” drivers who have a device is in their hands, can immediately notify the police officer handling the camera. The fine for using a mobile while driving is €240 in the Netherlands.
As distractions from smartphones are among the biggest causes of accidents, the Dutch police want to discourage drivers from using anything that prevents them from focusing on the road. As fines have proved to be an efficient discouragement tool, the authorities in the country have deployed smart cameras to allow officers to catch more drivers using phones behind the wheel.
The first of MONOcams were presented to a police unit on Thursday 1 July.
How does the camera work?
The MONOcam was mainly developed by the police themselves. It is a mobile camera that stands on a tripod and can be installed both inside and outside residential areas.
The camera comes with software that “recognizes” drivers who have some kind of devices in their hands. It’s really just about holding the device; there is no need to prove that someone is actually calling, texting, operating a navigation system or scrolling through a music playlist” – explains Paul Broer of the National Police.
If the camera notices that someone behind the wheel may be holding a phone, it immediately sends a notification to a Team Traffic agent. They then assess whether it is indeed true that the driver was not using the device hands-free.
Police use a “four-eye principle” here. This means that a second police officer also checks the records. If there is a violation, the reporting officer sends the records to the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB), which will issue the fine.
All police units will have such a smart camera in the near future”, adds Broer.
Photo credit @ politie.nl