Mobile phone detection cameras in use in SA, but no fines yet

mobile phone

Mobile phone detection cameras are being trialled for the first time in South Australia from this week in a move designed to reduce road trauma caused by driver distraction.

Following a state government tender process, two potential mobile phone detection camera providers will trial cameras and related technology on South Road, Torrensville, until late April 2023.

Mobile phone detection cameras already operate in New South Wales and Queensland and are being trialled for use in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

In just under two weeks nearly 500 people were caught a day for not wearing a seatbelt or using their phone behind the wheel in Queensland.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he was shocked to see those figures and made no apologies for hitting drivers with $1033 fines when caught on the phone behind the wheel.

Inattention is identified as a contributing factor in around half of all lives lost and over a third of serious injuries on South Australian roads.

South Australia’s Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25 includes long-term planning for using mobile phone detection cameras, initially at metropolitan sites, to detect illegal mobile phone use while driving.

The mobile phone detection camera trial will allow South Australia Police and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to assess solutions and evaluate how the cameras perform mounted on a digital variable message sign in the South Australian road environment.

The state government said it will ensure motorists’ privacy during the trial and will not impose fines or demerit points.

A review of trial outcomes will commence in May 2023, followed by a recommendation for a preferred provider to supply and install the cameras for operation as scheduled in early 2024.

Prospective providers are bearing the cost of the trial as part of the tender submission process.

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