High-tech mobile phone detection cameras that are set to catch out drivers using their phones while behind the wheel will launch in New South Wales this weekend.
On Saturday, the cameras will go live in 45 unknown locations across the state, making NSW the first state to introduce camera-based enforcement of illegal mobile phone use.
This comes following the successful trial of the technology earlier this year, which saw 8.5 million vehicles checked by the cameras across NSW between January and June this year, according to Transport NSW.
Of these drivers, over 100,000 were busted using their phones illegally, although they did not receive a fine during the trial period. A fine for using a mobile phone behind the wheel would typically cost $344 and five demerit points.
The high-definition cameras will be both fixed and transportable by a trailer-mounted camera, similar to speeding cameras. They are designed to be able to work at any time of day and during any weather condition.
Those caught by one of the cameras up until December 20 will still only receive a warning letter and won’t cop the penalties.
Although this means that when the fines and demerit points come into affect, we will have double demerits in place, meaning those caught could lose 10 demerit points.
“We have to unfortunately use the element of surprise to get people to think ‘well, I could get caught at any time’,” roads and transport minister Andrew Constance told Nine News.
“I want behaviour to change and I want it changes immediately. It’s not about revenue – it’s about saving lives.”