Illegal use of mobile phones on the road is becoming a major issue across Australia. An increasing amount of accidents are caused because drivers are distracted by their devices. According to the ABC, you are six times more likely to have an accident when texting while driving and 10 times more likely to have an accident when reading your device screen.
Earlier this year, a three-month trial in metropolitan Sydney detected 100,000 drivers using a mobile phone illegally (Car advice). Now, NSW is the first place in the world to introduce mobile phone detection cameras with 10 cameras installed across the state and 35 more expected over the next four years (Car advice). These phone detection cameras are expected to be installed across other states and internationally over the next few months (Nine News).
This world-class technology uses artificial intelligence to automatically review images and detect offending drivers at any time of day and in all weather conditions. Warning letters will be issued for the first three months and thereafter the penalty will equate to five demerit points and a $344 fine (Transport NSW). The Queensland Government has also stated that they will be issuing $1,000 fines to offending drivers when the cameras are installed across the country.
So what exactly can drivers use their mobile device for when out on the roads? It is illegal to touch a mobile device while driving including to text, email or use any apps/ internet sites even when stopped at traffic lights. Drivers can use their phone to make or receive calls if their device is connected to Bluetooth or if the phone is in a cradle. Learner drivers and probationary drivers cannot use their phones under any circumstances (Transport NSW).
Introducing mobile phone detection cameras will hopefully reduce the incidence of illegal mobile phone usage but it is also important to focus on educating drivers on why mobile phones are so dangerous on our roads. At Corporate Driver Training Australia, our low-risk driving courses focus on educating drivers on potential driving distractions including the risks associated with illegal mobile phone usage. Drivers are often so familiar with the process of driving that they don’t realise the significant risk that using a mobile device has on their safety, the safety of passengers and other drivers on the road. To learn more about our courses, visit https://corporatedrivertrainingaustralia.com.au/driving-courses-and-services/