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Don't Get Caught Members > WOOR: Mobile Detection Cams - 21,000 Fined.
WOOR: Mobile Detection Cams - 21,000 Fined.

May 13, 2020

Mobile Phone Detection Cameras – 21,000 Motorists Fined In First Two Months Of Enforcement In Australia

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Authorities in New South Wales, Australia have issued more than $7.1 million in fines to around 21,000 motorists for mobile phone usage while driving, as captured by mobile phone detection cameras in the first two months since fines were being handed out instead of warnings, Car Advice reported.

The amount in fines were racked up despite having just two cameras located in fixed locations and a ‘small but undisclosed number of temporary locations’, said Car Advice, and a special report by Channel Nine News in Australia revealed that 11,790 fines from the mobile phone detection cameras were issued in March alone, and another 9,000 drivers were fined in April despite Covid-19 lockdowns in the country.

The minimum penalty for holding a mobile phone while driving in New South Wales is $344 and five demerit points, or $457 and five demerit points if the offence is detected within school zones. Demerits points are doubled during public holidays and school term breaks, though the fine amount remains the same.

The penalties apply to the driver whether the vehicle is stopped in traffic, or in motion, and drivers cannot browse social media, email or text messages even if the phone is in a mounting bracket, Car Advice reported. Exception is given for making or receiving phone calls hands-free, meaning that the device cannot be held on the driver’s lap or shoulder, or held away from the body by the driver themselves.

The phone detection cameras in the Australian state became operational from last September on an observation basis where offenders caught were given warnings, with the fines and demerits points system going fully operational in March. Highway patrol and general duties police caught 1,200 drivers red-handed from March, racking up ‘at least’ $412,800 in fines for the offence.

Compared to mobile and fixed speed cameras in the Australian state, there are no warning signs for mobile phone detection cameras. “We know that the deterrent effect of people thinking they’re going to get caught anywhere anytime is actually working,” said the chief of NSW Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon.

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Source: https://paultan.org/2020/05/13/mobile-phone-detection-cameras-21000-motorists-fined-in-first-two-months-of-enforcement-in-australia/

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