A three-month trial of state-of-the-art safety cameras that will capture distracted drivers on Victoria’s roads will start this Wednesday July 29 across the state.
The move follows an introduction into NSW that saw 100,000 law-breakers caught at just two sites in six months alone.
Research shows drivers who use a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to cause a fatal road accident. Texting, browsing and emailing increase the crash risk even further – up to ten times.
“We know distracted drivers can have devastating outcomes on our roads – this technology is another step towards targeting this kind of unacceptable behaviour and keeping all road users safe,” Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said.
“We all have a role to play in reducing our road toll – every time someone picks up their phone behind the wheel they are putting lives in danger.”
In 2017-18, more than 30,000 motorists were issued with fines for using a mobile phone while driving in Victoria. Drivers and riders involved in distraction-related crashes may make up at least 11 per cent of road fatalities.
As well as capturing drivers illegally using their mobile phones while driving, the cameras will be tested for possible future use to crack down on other dangerous driver behaviour on Victorian roads, including not wearing a seatbelt.
No infringements will be issued during the pilot and number plate matching will not be undertaken. All photographs captured will be deleted, except for a limited number of de-identified images.
If introduced to Victorian roads, the technology will be able to operate from any location, 24 hours a day, in all conditions, meaning drivers who choose to do the wrong thing will be caught out.
Research conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre estimated an automated mobile phone enforcement camera program could prevent 95 casualty crashes per year and save taxpayers $21 million annually.
“We know how dangerous it is to use your phone while driving – that’s why we’re trialing this new technology to help stamp out this irresponsible behaviour,” Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll added.