If you’re prone to touching your phone while behind the wheel, your chances of getting busted are about to increase.
The New South Wales government has announced that permanent mobile phone detection cameras will be rolled out across the state by December… and you won’t be warned about them.
This decision has been made after two cameras were trialled over a six month period.
According to MSN 85 million cars were checked during this period, with 100,000 drivers found using their phones illegally.
While texting and scrolling social media was commonplace, one image even caught a motorist getting their passenger to steer their vehicle while they drove.
Now forty-five portable and fixed cameras will be set up across the state, costing around $88 million.
Unlike traditional speeds cameras, there will be no signage to warn motorists of upcoming mobile detection cameras.
“We have to unfortunately use the element of surprise to get people to think ‘well, I could get caught at any time’,” NSW Roads Minister Andrew Constance said.
“I want behaviour to change and I want it changed immediately.”
Despite the December deadline, there will be a three month grace period for mobile phone related penalties.
Certain usage concessions will also remain in place, such as using a mobile in a cradle via bluetooth and while utilising drive-through services. Motorists are also permitted to hand their phone to a passenger.
“We’re not saying no to the use of a phone in a car, but what we want is people to do it safely,” said Mr Constance.
At the present time the cost of using a mobile illegally behind the wheel is $344 and five demerit points.