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NSW drivers, keep your hand off

NSW drivers, keep your hand off

Are you ever tempted to send a quick text or change a song on your mobile phone while driving behind the wheel?

Well you better think twice because new cutting-edge cameras catching drivers on their mobile phones will be rolled out across NSW by the end of the year.

This means by December 2019:

  • The NSW government will spend $88 million on rolling out fixed and portable cameras across the state to detect motorists using phones.
  • Unlike speed cameras, there won’t be any warning signs to alert drivers as they approach.
  • The covert cameras will operate 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions.

Until March 1, 2020, errant drivers will receive a warning letter but after that, ignoring the law will cost motorists a $344 fine and five demerit points.

The move to implement the world’s first mobile phone detection camera program follows a six-month trial of three cameras which recorded 8.5 million vehicles and found more than 100,000 drivers using their phones illegally.

The high-definition cameras will operate 24 hours a day and use artificial intelligence to spot drivers using their phones, regardless of the weather. And unlike speed cameras, there will be no warning signs to alert drivers as they approach them.

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said unfortunately some drivers 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.

“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,” Mr Constance said.

The NSW government will spend $88 million on rolling out fixed and relocatable trailer-mounted cameras which will move across a network of locations statewide, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.

The covert cameras are set to bring in $280 million dollars in yearly revenue. They’ll be installed this December at various locations and gradually expand to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.

If one of the 45 cameras catches you using your phone while driving, you’ll receive a warning letter up until March 1, 2020. After that, drivers will be slapped with a $344 fine and five demerit points.

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