‘World-First’ Cameras Designed to Catch Texting Drivers Are Unveiled in Australia

  • ‘World-First’ Cameras Designed to Catch Texting Drivers Are Unveiled in Australia

‘World-First’ Cameras Designed to Catch Texting Drivers Are Unveiled in Australia

We've been told a million times that texting (or tweeting) while driving is unsafe. Australian state New South Wales is attempting to persuade the public to put down...

"Some people have not got the message about using their phones legally and safely", said Andrew Constance, minister for roads.

A trial of the tool in the first half of 2019 successfully detected 100,000 drivers using a mobile illegally.

Bernard Carlon, Executive Director of Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety, joins Michael to discuss the use of mobile phone detection cameras which were introduced earlier this week to target illegal phone use across NSW.

According to Transport for NSW 45 cameras, using artificial intelligence to review images and detect illegal use of cell phones, will be installed across the state over the next three years, and will operate round the clock and in all weather conditions.

Images identified as being likely to contain a driver illegally using a call phone will then be verified by authorized personnel, authorities said, noting that images captured by the system would be "securely stored and managed". Other functions, including using social media, video calling, photography, playing audio while driving are only legal if a driver has parked their vehicle outside of traffic. The standard fine will be $344 AUD (approx $234 USD) and $457 AUD (approx $311 USD) in school zones. Considering the government hopes to catch up to 135 million people within four to five years, that could add up to thousands of cases flooding the court system each year.

Drivers spotted by the AI during its first three months of use will receive a warning letter but after that they could face a fine.