You’re on camera … mobile phone camera
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Special cameras designed to catch Australian drivers on their mobile phones will be rolled out by the end of the year, but you won’t know when or where.
In a world first, New South Wales Transport revealed the “detection” cameras had been designed to survive in all weather conditions and was capable of detecting mobile phone use 24 hours a day.
The cameras will be set up in both fixed and trailer-mounted spots across New South Wales from December but Transport NSW was tight lipped about exact timing.
The transportable cameras will move across a network of locations statewide, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime, said Transport NSW.
Unlike current speed camera signage, there will be no warning to drivers if they are approaching a phone detection camera.
The move was made after a six-month pilot trial of three cameras captured more than 100,000 drivers using their phone illegally — the equivalent of A$34.5 million (NZ$37.2m) in fines.
“Unfortunately some people haven’t received the message and think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence,” said Minister for Roads Andrew Constance.
“There is strong community support for more enforcement to stop illegal mobile phone use with 80 per cent of people we surveyed supporting use of the mobile phone detection cameras.”
The program will start later this year and progressively expand to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.
The program will operate in warning letter mode for the first three months to reinforce the ‘get your hand off it’ message. If you offend after that, you’ll cop a NZ$371 fine and five demerit points.
In New Zealand, drivers using their phones illegal face a $80 fine and 20 demerit points
“The decision to pick up your phone can have fatal consequences. It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving on a busy city motorway or on an isolated road in the bush — there’s just no excuse for using your phone illegally,” said Regional Roads Paul Toole.
“Independent modelling has shown that these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years.” – News.com.au