Thousands of Victorian motorists have been caught using their mobile phones while behind the wheel, as the government trials new mobile phone detection cameras across the state.
In less than two months, a total of 4000 drivers were detected driving while distracted, representing 2 per cent of all 200,000 vehicles tested.
Victoria Police say the results are particularly concerning given the trial is taking place during Victoria's coronavirus lockdowns, meaning the amount of traffic on the road is substantially reduced.
"Even though there is less traffic on the road and congestion has eased due to stage four restrictions, these early results show that mobile phone use is an ingrained behaviour in Victorian drivers," Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said.
"I cannot stress the importance of leaving your phone alone. The text message to your mate is just not worth the risk of getting caught, or worse, causing a serious collision."
The state-of-the-art cameras capture mobile phone use as well as other dangerous behaviours such as failing to wear a seatbelt.
The trial, which concludes in late October, aims to ensure the cameras operate accurately and can be integrated into existing road safety systems before the official rollout.
Under the trial, offending drivers who are captured on camera will not be notified, nor will they receive fines or warnings, with all photographs captured during the three-month trial to be destroyed.
Victoria Police has approximately 2000 approved locations across the state where mobile cameras can operate at any given point. An up-to-date list of this locations can be viewed here.
Currently, the penalty for driving distracted in Victoria is a fine of $496 and four demerit points.