Australia Rolls Out High-Tech Cameras to Catch Drivers Using Cellphones

Forty-five portable cameras will be set up over the next three years.

Police take security measurement

Image via Getty/Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency

Police take security measurement

Australia has introduced "high definition detection cameras" to catch people using their cellphones while driving. 

New South Wales' Minister for Roads, Andrew Constance, rolled out the initiative on Sunday. Constance describes the cameras as "world-first" technology that will detect illegal cellphone usage through "fixed and mobile trailer-mounted cameras." After taking the pictures, the camera will use artificial intelligence to determine if the driver violated the country's cellphone laws. The pictures deemed to contain illegal use of cellphones will be reviewed by authorized personnel.

Forty-five portable cameras will be set up over the next three years. They will be placed in unknown locations without warning signs. For the first three months, drivers will receive a warning letter. Once the grace period expires, offenders will face fines up to $457 as well as penalty points on their drivers' license.

A trial of the cameras was set up earlier this year and caught more than 100,000 drivers using their phones behind the wheel. Over 300 people have died this year from car accidents in the state, according to ReutersAlthough this number is down from previous years, the government wants to reduce this number by 30 percent in 2020. Constance also believes that the fines levied by these tickets will reduce the state road tolls. 

"The NSW Government is serious about reducing our state's road toll," Constance said in a statement. "Rolling out mobile phone detection cameras is another way we will do this." 

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