Hi tech camera trialled to catch drivers using mobile phones

Published: 07 December 2017

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Cameras capable of detecting drivers using their mobile phones while driving have been tested in Victoria.

Heralded as a‘world-first’, the red-light-style cameras are capable of detecting mobile phones being used on drivers’ laps or on passenger seats.

Road safety advocate Russell White says that drivers will go to “extraordinary” lengths to disguise the use of mobile devices while driving.

“One of the things this camera does is shows that there really is no place to hide, if you’re using a mobile phone while driving,” he said.

“I think it’s going to become the number-one road safety issue we have to deal with, simply because pretty much everybody does it.”

In Sydney alone, 418 drivers were snapped using their phone in a 12-hour testing period.

During a five-hour test conducted on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne, 270 drivers were detected using a mobile device.

Another test surveying three lanes of the CityLink saw more than 1000 drivers caught red-handed.

Alex McCredie, the project manager at One Task, the Sydney-based company who developed the camera, said steps had been taken to “ensure” that those who are fined were actually using their phones.

“At the moment it is a combination of computer and manual review,” he explained.

In New South Wales last year, more than 38,000 people were caught by police using their phones behind the wheel.