Australia introduces camera-style technology to detect illegal mobile phone use by motorists

Malaysians living in Australia or visiting New South Wales (NSW) please take note as earlier this year, the NSW government in Australia passed laws to find and punish motorists in attempts to lower the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads. Under the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Act 2018, speed camera style technology will now be used to detect the illegal use of mobile phones while driving.

Under these new laws, drivers caught using their mobile phone while driving will receive a fine of AUS330 and a loss of 4 demerit points. This fine will increase to AUS439 when drivers are caught within a school zone.

These mobile detection cameras will come into force from 1 July 2018.

The detection system will involve an automated system for identifying possible infringements with advanced cameras to see into moving vehicles. Tracking vehicles for up to 50 meters at a time, the cameras work initially by eliminating motorist who are not on their phones, reducing the number of potential infringements to be analysed. If a driver has their hands on the wheel and nothing in their lap, they will be excluded.

Once the cameras identify a driver using their mobile device, the footage is then reviewed manually for confirmation.

Drivers are being urged to refrain from using their mobile phones illegally while driving to ensure safety and avoid penalties. Fully licensed drivers may only use their phone – as long as it is used hands-free – to play audio, make or answer a call, or for navigation. Drivers cannot hold phones, nestle them in laps or cradle them between shoulder and ear. Learner, P1, and P2 license holders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all, including when stuck in traffic.

(picture credit: West Australian newspaper)

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