Last updateThu, 28 Mar 2024 2pm

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

The government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while behind the wheel.

At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text.

However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued that the activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ currently outlawed by the legislation.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that he will urgently take forward a review to tighten up the existing law. The revised legislation will mean any driver caught texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a playlist while behind the wheel will be prosecuted for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

Mr Shapps said: “We recognise that staying in touch with the world while travelling is an essential part of modern day life, but we are also committed to making our roads safe. Drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone are hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time – putting people’s lives at risk.

AI system can match experts at detecting eye disease

An artificial intelligence (AI) system that can recommend the correct referral decision for over 50 eye diseases as accurately as world-leading experts has been developed by researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The research project was carried out in collaboration with DeepMind Health and University College London (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology.

The breakthrough research, published online by Nature Medicine, describes how machine learning technology has been successfully trained to identify features of eye disease and recommend how patients should be referred for care, using thousands of historic de-personalised eye scans. It is hoped that the technology could one day transform the way professionals carry out eye tests, allowing them to spot conditions earlier and prioritise patients with the most serious eye diseases before irreversible damage sets in.

Smart phones becoming more common in evidence gathering

In the last issue of Your Expert Witness we reported on the setting up of websites by police to allow witnesses to upload pictures and videos of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. The actions demonstrate the embracing by police of people’s digital lives and the increasing importance of technology in evidence gathering.

The moves follow a statement last year by then-Home Secretary Theresa May on the subject. She said: “Citizens increasingly capture what is happening around them on video, generating potential evidence of crimes. Policing has not yet caught up.

Guidance published on buying CCTV

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has published a Buyer’s Toolkit, to provide guidance for the non-expert who is thinking about buying a surveillance camera system and wants to maximise their chance of success – and minimise risk – by observing the principles of good practice.

The primary target audience is SMEs (up to 250 staff) and micro-businesses (up to nine staff). However, the five-stage approach in the document is guidance which would be valuable for any organisation considering the use of surveillance cameras.

CybSafe to place cyber security training at the heart of Law Society’s services for its members

CybSafe, the GCHQ-accredited cyber security training platform, today announces a partnership with the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors, placing cyber security training at the heart of the Law Society’s information security marketplace. As one of just five certified partners of the Law Society, CybSafe will help to inform the Law Society’s future cyber security training for its members.

Law firms must continue to safeguard the highly sensitive information they work with on a day-to-day basis. According to the Law Society, effective training is essential to combat the substantial and credible threat to the cyber security of UK law firms from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.