In just three months, more than 30,000 drivers were caught out by NSW’s new mobile detection cameras, with motorists now set to cop big fines.
In just three months, more than 30,000 drivers were caught out by NSW’s new mobile detection cameras, with motorists now set to cop big fines.

30,000 drivers caught by new cameras

Thousands of NSW drivers were caught out by NSW's new mobile detection cameras in just three months, with motorists now set to cop fines and demerit points.

The world-first technology aimed at catching drivers on their phones has been operating in warning mode since December 1, 2019.

During those three months more than 9 million vehicles were checked by the cameras and more than 30,000 people were sent warning letters after being snapped on their phone.

The grace period finished on Sunday, meaning anyone who is caught by the cameras will cop a $344 fine and five demerit points.

This penalty is bumped up to $457 if motorists are caught in a school zone, or 10 demerit points if they are caught during a double demerits period.

More than 30,000 drivers were caught on their phones in the first three months of the cameras being turned on. Picture: Centre for Road Safety
More than 30,000 drivers were caught on their phones in the first three months of the cameras being turned on. Picture: Centre for Road Safety

 

The cameras have been operating in warning mode since December 1. Picture: Centre for Road Safety
The cameras have been operating in warning mode since December 1. Picture: Centre for Road Safety

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said drivers are starting to understand the dangers mobile phone use can present.

"We're seeing more than 99 per cent of drivers doing the right thing, so when we compare this with the findings from the pilot last year, it is clear drivers are starting to get the message," he said in a statement.

"It's important that drivers who continue to put the safety of themselves, passengers and the local community at risk realise that no matter where you are you could be caught and you will be fined."

Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole said taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds doubled the risk of a crash.

"The decision to pick up your phone can have fatal consequences. Whether you're driving on a major highway or an isolated road in the bush, there's no excuse for using your phone illegally," Mr Toole said.

"The cameras are both fixed and transportable, with the trailer-mounted cameras to be frequently moved around the state, targeting illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime."

 

Drivers will now cop fines and demerit points if they are caught by the cameras. Picture: David Swift.
Drivers will now cop fines and demerit points if they are caught by the cameras. Picture: David Swift.

 

NSW Police continue to enforce illegal mobile phone use and issue infringements as part of regular operations.

A massive difference between these cameras and speed cameras is that the locations have been kept secret and there is no signage to warn motorists they are approaching a camera.

However, in December last year Roads Minister Andrew Constance revealed a few hot spots where drivers have been caught.

Speaking on 2GB, Mr Constance said about eight of the new cameras had been turned on at the start of December and revealed three locations that people were being caught.

He said in just four days 179 drivers were caught using their phones illegally on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Another 210 were caught out in Lucas Heights, in Sydney's south and 126 were also caught by cameras in Nowra, in the state's South Coast region.

Have you spotted any of the mobile detection cameras? Let us know in the comment section below.


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