Mobile phone and seatbelt cameras go live in Tasmania

Mobile phone and seat belt non-compliance cameras are now located around Tasmania.

A total of 14 such cameras are now in place with two more coming soon.

They will certainly increase consolidated revenue for the government big time.

Police on the Apple Isle state say a trial of new cameras captured drivers breaking the law at a rate of one every 7.6 minutes.

In just 43 hours, Tasmania’s new mobile phone detection cameras captured 339 people doing the wrong thing.

They have been installed on Tasmania’s existing fleet of mobile speed cameras, which have been in operation since last year.

“It upsets me to share these with you,” Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said, holding a print-out of some of the images taken by the cameras during a press conference in Hobart to launch the government’s road safety campaign Click, Store and Go.

“You’ve got somebody here who’s on their mobile phone, you can see it, it’s on their lap, and they’re also not wearing their seatbelt.

“This is a recipe for a crash, an injury, and death. The message is simple. Click on your seatbelt, store your phone away, and you are good to go,” he said.

If all 339 people photographed during testing had been fined, the cameras would have raised more than $132,000 for the Tasmanian government in just 43 hours.

“I emphasise government doesn’t want to raise fines and penalties. But we will do that if it does help us to get the message out,” Ferguson said.

Both the Tasmanian gov- ernment and police insist the enforcement campaign is not about revenue raising, pointing to data collected from recording sites across the state – which they say indicates a reduction in driver speeds since the mobile speed cameras came online – is evidence that deterrents work.

Some of my truckie informants in Tassie tell me that the locations of such cameras is a topic of conversation on UHF radios.

Spy is told that several such cameras may be in place on the 1396 metre long Tasman Bridge above the Derwent River at Hobart.

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