New Way Police Will Be Able To Catch Drivers On Phones
Speed Cameras and red light cameras will soon be able to be used to catch drivers on their mobile phones in NSW after new legislation was passed through the state government.
According to the new rules passed through NSW parliament on Wednesday, NSW will become the first place in the world to introduce the new technology to crackdown on people illegally using their phones while in the car.
Tougher penalties for drivers under the influence of drugs were also introduced in the crackdown designed to help reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.
Between the years 2012 and 2017 alone, 184 crashes were reportedly caused by illegal phone use, resulting in seven deaths and 105 injuries.
Melinda Pavey, the NSW Minister for Roads, said that the decision to introduce the new camera technology to stop texting and driving was similar to the “revolutionary” decision to introduce breath-testing technology in 1982.
“The community wants safer roads and better driver behaviour,” said Ms Pavey. “Three quarters of those surveyed supported the use of cameras to enforce illegal mobile phone use.”
Ms Pavey has also said that the new measure is not a tactic to raise revenue as any funds raised from the fines will be placed into a Community Road Safety Fund.
Trials of the speed cameras to capture illegal phone use, conducted by Sydney technology company One Task, caught over 400 drivers in Sydney using their phones while driving during a 12-hour period.
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers are not permitted to use mobile devices while driving at all while fully licensed drivers can use phones hands free for play music, make phone calls or for navigation.
Any driver who is caught illegally touching their phone can be issued a $330 fine and can lose four demerit points.
The technology for using speed cameras and red light cameras to detect mobile phone use is not yet in place but in the next month the NSW government are expected to ask for interest from companies in providing the technology needed.