Mobile phone use will get you a $344 fine.
Mobile phone use will get you a $344 fine.

300 motorists a day fined for common habit

It seems motorists aren't getting the message.

After warnings last month the new mobile phone detection cameras had netted $7 million in fines, increasing revenue a massive 1500 per cent, drivers are still getting stung.

Now three months into their use, the fines have raked in $15.8 million, with 300 motorists a day being slapped with infringements.

The cameras came into effect on March 1 after 30,000 drivers had been caught during their three month trial, each sent warning letters.

The penalty for offending drivers is five demerit points and a $344 fine, or $457 in a school zone.

Unlike speed cameras, there are no signs alerting drivers to their use, with calls to have them installed.

 

Hundreds of people a day are being caught by mobile phone cameras.
Hundreds of people a day are being caught by mobile phone cameras.

NSW Shadow Transport Minister John Graham last month said it was clear many drivers hadn't got the message and signage was needed.

The cameras caught almost 11 million people from March 1 to May 17, despite the city being in lockdown.

Transport for NSW deputy secretary Tara McCarthy told Daily Mail Australia one in every 370 drivers - or 0.27 per cent - were nabbed.

But she said the rate of offences had fallen steadily since their pilot in January last year when 100,000 drivers were caught out of 8.5 million vehicles checked, a rate of 1.22 per cent.

There have been 191 drivers to challenge their fines in court since fines came into effect, with the photo available online for people to view.

 

Three of the cameras are pictured fixed to a traffic sign on Anzac Parade at Moore Park near Alison Road. Picture: David Swift.
Three of the cameras are pictured fixed to a traffic sign on Anzac Parade at Moore Park near Alison Road. Picture: David Swift.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has previously ruled out installing signs at the locations, at Anzac Parade in Moore Park and the M4 in Prospect.

Mobile versions can also be set up at any other locations across Sydney.

Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said not having signage was a deterrent for drivers thinking they could get caught anywhere, at any time.

Taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash.

It is equivalent to driving drunk at .08 if you are on a mobile phone behind the wheel of a car.

"Even if you look down and text for two seconds travelling at 60km/h you are going to have your vehicle move 33m on a roadway or in a local backstreet without paying any attention," Mr Constance said.

NSW Police continue to enforce illegal mobile phone use and issue infringements as part of regular operations.

 

Originally published as 300 motorists a day fined for using phones


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