Drivers who are on their phones when driving around Sydney are now being caught without even realising it. New mobile detection cameras are being rolled out in parts of the city and are already catching thousands of unsuspecting drivers not paying attention on the road. It is world first technology that is able to identify drivers actively engaging their attention on a mobile device at the time they pass a fixed camera station point.
Two Cameras Already in Operation, More to Come
There are cameras already located on the Clunies Ross St overpass on the M4 Motorway at Prospect and on Anzac Parade at Moore Park. As this new technology is being introduced there is a grace period for drivers caught between now and April. Drivers caught by the cameras will receive a letter telling them they have been caught until then, but no fine will be incurred. It will however serve as a warning not to be on their phones at those camera points and no where else on Sydney roads as well. During an October testing period more than 11,000 drivers were snapped using their mobile phone behind the wheel.
They will be operating from the start of next week but even though drivers will receive a letter telling them they have been caught, motorists will not actually start being fined until April.
Legal Challenges to New Technology Expected
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said that this grace period until April will allow time for any possible teething issues, including legal grounds for potential challenges. Ms Pavey told reporters that it is absolutely imperative this new form of technology is working perfectly before fines start being handed out as it’s almost guaranteed there will be a number of lawyers waiting to challenge the new technology. “If at the end of the trial, the technology proves to be foolproof, the community will be made aware of its permanent use,” Ms Pavey said. “This is not about revenue raising”.
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