Secret cameras to catch texting drivers

 

Special cameras designed to catch drivers on their mobile phones will be rolled out by the end of the year, but you won't know when or where.

In a world first, New South Wales Transport on Sunday revealed the "detection" cameras had been designed to survive in all weather conditions and was capable of detecting mobile phone use 24 hours a day.

The cameras will be set up in both fixed and trailer-mounted spots across New South Wales from December but Transport NSW was tight lipped about exact timing.

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This driver was caught texting while the passenger took the wheel.
This driver was caught texting while the passenger took the wheel.

 

The transportable cameras will move across a network of locations statewide, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime, Transport NSW said in a statement.

Unlike current speed camera signage, there will be no warning to drivers if they are approaching a phone detection camera.

This driver was using a mobile phone and a notebook while driving.
This driver was using a mobile phone and a notebook while driving.

The move was made after a six-month pilot trial of three cameras captured more than 100,00 drivers using their phone illegally - the equivalent of $34.5 million in fines.

"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," Minister for Roads Andrew 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."

This driver had two hands on their phone while driving.
This driver had two hands on their phone while driving.

 

This driver had two hands on their phone while driving.
This driver had two hands on their phone while driving.

The program will start later this year and progressively expand to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.

The program will operate in warning letter mode for the first three months to reinforce the 'get your hand off it' message. If you offend after that, you'll cop a $344 fine and five demerit points.

"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," Regional Roads Paul Toole said.

"Independent modelling has shown that these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years."

 

This driver was caught with two hands on their phone.
This driver was caught with two hands on their phone.

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.

"There is simply no excuse for it."

For more details on the mobile phone detection cameras visit the NSW Transport website.

This driver was caught having a chat while on the road.
This driver was caught having a chat while on the road.
This driver was caught using two phones at the same time.
This driver was caught using two phones at the same time.
This truck driver had two hands on their phone.
This truck driver had two hands on their phone.

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