The world-first mobile phone detection cameras recently launched in New South Wales caught more than 3300 people using their phones while driving in their first week of operation – but the drivers caught will only be warned, not fined.
A total of 3303 drivers were caught using fixed and trailer-mounted phone-detection cameras in New South Wales between December 1 and December 7.
But the drivers caught with hands on their phones won't be fined – instead, they'll receive a warning letter in the mail for the first three months of camera operation.
Fines of $344 ($457 in school zones) and five demerit points will be enforced from March 1, 2020.
There are 10 fixed and mobile cameras in service on New South Wales roads at the moment, but 35 more will roll out over the coming years.
"Around 500 drivers a day are getting pinged by these cameras doing the wrong thing," said NSW Minister for Roads, Andrew Constance.
"With double demerits starting Friday we need drivers to get the message and get off the phone, otherwise they risk killing themselves or someone innocent on our roads."
Although NSW was the first state to roll them out, phone detection cameras will be trialled in Queensland during 2020.
The camera technology being used is an Australian invention, developed by a Melbourne University graduate after his friend was killed by a driver suspected of being on their phone.
"Distracted driving is causing a whole lot of new road accidents and fatalities at the moment and it’s totally unaddressed, unlike drink driving or speeding, which are now fairly in control,” the inventor of mobile phone detection cameras, Alexander Jannink, told CarAdvice.
“Distracted driving is a major new challenge, it’s a killer on our roads.”
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