NSW will roll out mobile phone detection cameras by the end of this year (2019) making it the first place on the planet to specifically target mobile-phone use with fixed and mobile cameras.
After a recent six-month trial of mobile phone detection cameras which checked 8.5 million drivers and found more than 100,000 drivers were using their phones illegally, the NSW Government will roll out the world’s first mobile phone detection camera program by the end of the year.
The program will start later this year and progressively expand to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023. It will include fixed cameras and relocatable trailer-mounted versions of the technology. The transportable cameras will move across a network of locations state-wide, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.
Minister for Roads Andrew Constance and Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole said the cameras will crack down on drivers illegally using their mobile phones. “Unfortunately, some people haven’t received the message and think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence,” Mr Constance said.
“There is strong community support for more enforcement to stop illegal mobile phone use with 80 per cent of people we surveyed supporting use of the mobile phone detection cameras.”
Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole added, “The decision to pick up your phone can have fatal consequences. It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving on a busy city motorway or on an isolated road in the bush – there’s just no excuse for using your phone illegally”.
“Independent modelling has shown that these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years.”
NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said more than 16,500 people had been caught using a mobile phone while driving so far this year. “When you drive while using a phone, your attention is not on the road, on other cars, pedestrians, or on other dangers and it poses a risk to everyone who uses the road,” Mr Corboy said.