Drivers across rural and regional NSW are reminded that mobile phone detection cameras are now operating across the State.
NSW Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Transport Stephen Bromhead said the world-first safety technology started operating on December 1 and will target illegal mobile phone use by drivers through fixed and transportable trailer-mounted cameras.
“Research has found mobile phone use while driving is associated with at least a four-fold increase in the risk of having a casualty crash, and texting increases the crash risk even further,” Mr Bromhead said.
“The NSW Nationals in Government are serious about reducing our State’s road toll and rolling out mobile phone detection cameras is another way we will do this.
“Independent modelling has shown these cameras could prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years and with electorates like mine being cut through by the Pacific Highway – and the amount of people who travel these roads every day and year – trying to keep people as safe as possible while driving is our Government’s highest priority.
“There is strong community support for more enforcement, with 80 per cent of people surveyed supporting use of detection cameras to enforce mobile phone use offences.”
For the first three months, drivers caught by a mobile phone detection camera will receive a warning letter. After that drivers will cop a $344 fine, or a $457 fine in a school zone, and five demerit points – 10 during double demerit periods.
The camera locations will not be signposted, but road users will be made aware of the program through Variable Message Signs (VMS) and fixed signs on key routes. An advertising campaign is also running to advise motorists of the cameras.
Mr Bromhead said the program will progressively expand to perform an estimated 135 million vehicle checks on NSW roads each year by 2023.
“Driving while using a mobile phone is a dangerous behaviour and motorists need to know that they can be caught at anytime, anywhere,” Mr Bromhead said.
“Wherever a driver is on the network – the message is simple – get your hand off it.”
NSW Police will continue to enforce illegal mobile phone use and issue infringements as part of regular on-road operations during the warning phase of the camera program.