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World-First Cameras That Can Catch You Using Your Phone While Driving Are Coming to NSW Roads

After a successful six-month trial, the cameras will be introduced across the state — permanently.
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
September 23, 2019
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World-First Cameras That Can Catch You Using Your Phone While Driving Are Coming to NSW Roads

After a successful six-month trial, the cameras will be introduced across the state — permanently.
By Libby Curran and Samantha Teague
September 23, 2019
  shares

It's about to get a whole lot harder for any New South Wales driver to get away with using their mobile phone while driving — and it's thanks to a world-first move by the NSW Government, which is adopting speed camera-style technology to detect the illegal behaviour.

After a six-month trial of the technology — and spying more than 100,000 drivers using their phones illegally — the Government has announced phone detection cameras will be rolled out permanently across the state. Details are suitably vague, but we know they'll be rolled out later this year, with both fixed cameras and relocatable trailer-mounted ones. The program will continue to expand until 2023, when the Government hopes it'll be checking 135 million cars annually.

The cameras, provided by Australian company Acusensus, use artificial intelligence and can operate in all conditions — day and night, and regardless of the weather — to detect folks using their phones while they're behind the wheel.

A photo taken during the trial

For the first three months after the cameras are mounted, drivers using phones will receive warning letters. After that, though, you'll cop a $344 fine ($457 in a school zone) and five demerit points if you're caught texting, 'gramming, taking selfies, sending emails or any other illegal phone activity while driving.

While some drivers will see this as a cash grab, the government is hoping it'll reduce the number of road fatalities, with Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole saying, "independent modelling has shown that these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years."

The phone detection cameras will be rolled out across NSW roads in late 2019. For more information, head to the Transport for NSW website.

Published on September 23, 2019 by Libby Curran

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