The New South Wales Government have announced they will be introducing cameras to detect illegal mobile phone use by drivers.
This is as a result of the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Bill 2018.
Drivers who use their mobile phones illegally are targeted as part of the NSW Government’s road safety reforms, which have now passed NSW Parliament.
The legislation introduces the use of stationary road-side cameras that will detect drivers using mobile phones and automatically charge them.This will be similar to the use of red-light cameras and speed cameras.
The technology will automatically issue drivers with an infringement notice, without the driver realising they have been caught.
The cameras will first undergo a trial period to test the effectiveness and accuracy of the technology.
The aim of the legislation is to reduce car accidents, fatalities and injuries caused by drivers who are distracted by using their mobile phone.
Currently, the detection of mobile phone use by drivers is monitored and enforced by Police Officers, who are required to pull over the driver and issue them with a ticket in order to charge them for using their mobile phone whilst driving.
The installation of these camera will detect and charge drivers in addition to Police.
Drivinglaws regarding mobile phones
It is illegal in NSW to hold and use your phone at any time while driving, including whilst waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. This includes making any phone calls, texting or takinga phone call on loudspeaker.
However, there are some allowances for fully licensed drivers. These rules are outlined in more detail below:
|While driving or riding you CAN use your mobile phone:|
|To make or answer a call||ONLY if the phone is either:
· In a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road
· can be operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation
|To use the audio playing function (e.g. music)|
|As a driver’s aid (e.g. navigation, Speed Adviser app)||ONLY if the phone is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road|
|While driving or riding you CANNOT use your mobile phone for anything else, including:|
|Texting or audio texting||· If you want to use your phone for any of these functions, your vehicle must be parked out of the line of traffic
· These functions are not permitted when your vehicle is stopped, including when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic
|Using social media|
|Holding your phone in any way (in hand, on lap, between shoulder and ear). Drivers are only allowed to hold a phone briefly to pass it to a passenger.|
Drivers who break the above rules face beingissued a fine for $337, and are penalised four demerit points for illegally using their mobile phone.
As a result of the proposed new cameras, it is expected the number of drivers who are charged with driving whilst using mobile phones will drastically increase in the future.