Cameras that can identify people illegally using mobile phones while driving have been switched on in two locations in Sydney, Australia.
The cameras, described as a “world-first”, use artificial intelligence and can operate day or night and in all weather conditions.
“I strongly believe this technology will change driver behaviour,” said Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey. “With the start of a new year, I’m urging those who illegally use their phone to start with a new habit. Put your phone away or secure it in a cradle.”
A three-month pilot will run until early April, at which point a decision about the long-term deployment of the cameras will be made. The cameras are expected to make more than five million observations of vehicles over 90 days. No fines will be issued during the pilot phase.
“We’ve seen how effective these cameras are,” added Pavey. “During the month-long test period in October, more than 11,000 drivers were detected using a mobile phone illegally.”
Last financial year, around 40,000 fines were issued for illegal mobile phone use while driving with 30- to 39-year-old drivers receiving the most fines at 11,695.