NSW drivers will be among those targeted in a "world-first" rollout of cameras to catch people illegally using phones while behind the wheel.
The NSW government announced the new program would crack down on drivers using their devices, and will include fixed cameras and relocatable trailer-mounted versions of the technology.
Starting in December, the rollout will operate in warning letter mode for the first three months to reinforce the message.
IN OTHER NEWS:
After that, those caught out will cop a $344 fine and five demerit points.
The move was wholeheartedly welcomed by driving instructor Jon Morgan.
Also the founder of the Wagga Traffic Offenders Intervention Program, Mr Morgan said using technology to counter dangerous habits is a sign of the times.
"It doesn't matter what we seem to do, people ignore it and keep using their mobile phones," he said.
"I think they think 'the chances of getting caught are minimal', but now there is a good chance you will get caught.
"Maybe a lot of people do not think it serious, but people are dying."
The move comes after the state government's recent six-month pilot, during which safety technology provided checked 8.5 million vehicles and found more than 100,000 drivers using their phones illegally.
From March 2020, there will be no warnings with instant penalties for those breaking the law.
It is expected to perform 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.
Here is a handy guide to the rules from Transport for NSW to make sure you do not get caught out and cop a hefty fine.
- Mobile phone use by drivers is illegal unless the phone used by an unrestricted licence holder for audio playing or call functions without touching the phone, i.e via Bluetooth with earphones, or if secured in a mounting.
- A mobile mounting must be fixed to the vehicle in the manner intended by the manufacturer. It must not obscure your view of the road.
- A driver may also use a mobile phone as a driver's aid if the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle.
- A driver who accesses their Digital Driver Licence on their phone before they are requested to do so by police is committing an offence.
- It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone at any time while driving or riding.
- Under the current rules it is not permissible to use your phone to pay for something in a drive-through.
- Learner, P1 and P2 licence holders must not use a mobile phone at all while driving.
- A GPS device that is not a mobile phone is permitted for all drivers, as long as the device is secured in a mounting.
- Devices that play music, that are not a mobile phone, can be used by drivers so long as the screen is not visible to the driver.
For more information click here.