Drivers hit with $344 fines for using mobile phone

Drivers caught by mobile phone detection cameras hit with $344 fines

Drivers caught using their mobile phones will be fined $344 and docked five demerit points as the state’s high-tech mobile phone detection cameras zero in on culprits.

The cameras have been on warning mode since December 1 and in that time more than
31,000 drivers have been sent warning letters.

From March 1, drivers caught using their phones won’t be granted such leniency, and won’t be able to hide from the cameras by using their phones on their laps or under the steering wheel.

One reckless incident captured by the cameras showed a truck driver using his phone with both his feet on the dashboard.

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said nine million vehicles had been scanned by the cameras during the three-month warning period.

“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,” Mr Constance said.

“As fines and demerits start to be issued from today we expect the number of offences could fall even further, making NSW roads safer for everyone.

“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,” Mr Constance said.

The cameras use an algorithm to detect mobile phones, before sending those images to be verified by two people, who decide whether there is proof to issue the infringement.

Independent modelling suggests 100 lives could be saved by the technology over five years.

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

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