New South Wales rolled out mobile phone detection cameras on Sunday, hoping to cut the number of fatalities on its roads by a third over two years, transport authorities said. The world-first mobile phone detection cameras, according to Transport for NSW, which manages the state's transport services, operate day and night in all weather conditions to determine if a driver is handling a mobile phone. "It's a system to change the culture," the NSW police assistant commissioner, Michael Corboy, told Australian media last week. Making or receiving voice calls while driving in NSW is legal, but only when using a hands-free device. All other functions, such as video calling, using social media and photography, are illegal while behind the wheel.
Next generation roadside detectors could soon be snapping motorists using smartphones behind the wheel without them realising, say police in Australia. High tech cameras that can detect the presence of the gadgets in the hands of drivers could be commonplace in the near future, they say. Drivers distracted by talking or texting on the phone are one of the biggest dangers on the road, and the new technology could help to crack down on the practice. It's not exactly clear how the cameras will work, but it seems likely they will incorporate image recognition AI software. Next generation roadside detectors could soon be snapping motorists using smartphones behind the wheel, say police in Australia.
An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists. New South Wales Roads Minister Andrew Constance said Monday that Australia's most populous state is the first jurisdiction in the world to use such technology to punish drivers distracted by social media, text messages or phone calls. Road safety experts are alarmed at the growing prevalence of accidents involving drivers using smartphones on New South Wales roads. Experts say drivers who illegally use phones increase their chances of an accident four-fold. "There is no doubt drink-driving as far as I'm concerned is on a par with mobile phone use, and that's why we want everyone to be aware that you're going to get busted doing this anytime, anywhere," Constance told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Drivers may think twice about using their mobile phones, after the NSW Government announced a trial of world-first technology able to catch them in the act while behind the wheel. The new high-definition cameras have already detected more than 11,000 drivers using their mobile phones during a month-long test during October, Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said. "Shockingly, one driver was pictured with two hands on his phone while his passenger steered the car travelling at 80kph, putting everyone on the road at risk," she said. "We saw people on Facebook, people texting. We saw people trying to be tricky by having their phone below the window line of their vehicles. "It is a very dangerous act to keep your eyes down low and not on the road, which is why this technology we expect will have a huge impact on driver behaviour and therefore road safety.
Driving while texting is to blame for countless car accidents, some of which lead to death and destruction. According to the National Saftey Council, at least nine Americans die each day from distracted driving, while actions like using a smartphone or playing with a in-vehicle screen, are to blame for 100 injuries every day. Australia has decided to take the lead in curbing this dangerous behavior, becoming the first country to install cameras that can catch drivers on their smartphone. In an announcement over the weekend, the Government of New South Wales announced that as of 1 December, the government's mobile phone detection cameras are live. Driver's caught on their phone during the first three months, will receive a warning letter.