As of 1 December 2019, mobile phone detection cameras rolled out across New South Wales. The aim of the system is to reduce the number of fatalities on NSW roads by a third over two years.
The system is a world-first, operating day and night in all weather conditions with cameras using artificial intelligence that detects drivers handling mobile phones on the roads.
Taking or placing a mobile call while driving is legal, but only when using hands-free – other features such as video calling, taking photos or scrolling a social media feed are illegal.
The system is not fully based on artificial intelligence. Although the cameras detect images likely to contain drivers using phones, the photos are then verified by authorised personnel.
The rules are stricter for provisional drivers – P2, P1 and Learner drivers are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all. The only time these drivers can use their phones is if they are parked. This includes making calls, playing music or using GPS, according to the RMS Website.
There are some concerns that the court system could become overwhelmed or clogged by cases of drivers challenging mobile phone detection cameras or disputing fines.
As to penalties, detection within the first three months of the system will incur a warning letter. After this period, the penalty is a standard $344.00 fine, or $457.00 in school zones, as well as penalty points.
The system aims to keep our roads safer and protect drivers. In 2019 alone, 329 people have died on NSW roads. The government is aiming to reduce road deaths by 30% by 2021.
To find out more, have a look at this article in The Guardian.
Any death is a tragedy that affects countless people. Stay safe. Watch the road. Don’t use your mobile phone.
If you have any questions at all about criminal law or any traffic matter, then call Jacqueline Wainwright on 9687 9322.
Martin Bullock Lawyers, for all your legal solutions.