The first “smart” camera to detect driving offenses has been installed on a highway in Northland in New Zealand.
Waka Kotahi had been testing smart cameras capable of identifying drivers using cellphones or not wearing seatbelts. However, the initial camera installed was not one of those models and functioned as a regular static speed camera, only able to measure speed between two points.
To enable additional functionalities, such as identifying driving offenses, a change in the law was required.
The camera was positioned on State Highway 1 between Kawakawa and Moerewa. Waka Kotahi aimed to adopt a proactive approach in identifying high-risk locations, considering factors such as average speeds, road function, traffic volumes, and crash trends.
Prior to implementation, a privacy impact assessment was conducted as the smart cameras had the ability to read vehicle number plates. Additionally, NZTA took over speed camera operations from the police in Auckland, with plans to install nine new cameras later in the year.