Sydney drivers will take part in a trial of world-first mobile phone monitoring cameras, as part of a New South Wales Government push to curb distracted driving.
The pair of new cameras will be deployed on the M4 and Anzac Parade from January 2019, but motorists caught during the trial won't be fined.
They were chosen after being trialled alongside two alternatives throughout October, during which period more than 11,000 people were snapped using their phones illegally. Once again, they weren't fined during that period.
“Shockingly, one driver was pictured with two hands on his phone while his passenger steered the car travelling at 80 km/h, putting everyone on the road at risk,” said Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.
If the technology "proves to be foolproof" during this trial, it will be used as an enforcement tool. Acusensus, the Australian company behind the cameras, says they work in any weather, day or night.
“If at the end of the trial, the technology proves to be foolproof, the community will be made aware of its permanent use," the minister said.
“74 per cent of the NSW community support the use of cameras to enforce mobile phone offences. I strongly believe this technology will change driver behaviour and save lives."
Acusensus founder, Alex Jannick, created the cameras after his friend was killed by a distracted driver.
“Since my friend James was killed by an impaired and phone distracted driver five years ago, I have had a strong desire to develop this technology to save lives,” he explained.