Mobile Phone Detection Cameras – What You Need to Know

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Mobile Phone Detection Cameras – What You Need to Know

Mobile phone detection cameras came into force in NSW in December 2019. How do these cameras work, and what happens if you’re caught using a mobile phone? Let’s take a look. Mobile phone detection cameras- what you need to know.

What Are Mobile Phone Detection Cameras?

We can start with the most basic question — what are mobile phone detection cameras?

Well, think of them a little like speed cameras. Ultimately, they’re designed to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safer on the road.

These cameras are very discreet. From a distance, they look just like black rectangular boxes, and you’ll often see them above motorway signs and in urban areas. Legally, there’s no need to give drivers any warning about the location of mobile phone detection cameras.

So, how do these devices work, and what happens if you’re caught on camera?

How Do They Work?

The cameras use artificial intelligence to monitor the roads, day and night. The weather doesn’t matter — the cameras work in all conditions.

When a car drives past, the camera automatically scans the car interior. If it detects possible illegal activity, like using a mobile phone, it takes a picture. These pictures are verified by authorised personnel, and offending drivers are contacted.

If you’re caught using a mobile phone illegally, you will receive:

  • 5 demerit points
  • $349 fine (this goes up to $464 if you’re caught in a school zone)

If it’s a double demerit period, you’ll get 10 demerit points.

To avoid these penalties, you need to know when it’s legal to use your mobile in the car — and when it’s not.

When It’s Legal to Use a Mobile Phone in Your Car

Sometimes, it’s OK to use your mobile phone while driving. The circumstances are limited, though.

It’s legal for fully licenced drivers to use a mobile phone for:

  • Playing music
  • Making or receiving audio calls (not video)
  • Navigation purposes

The phone needs to be in a fixed mounting, like a cradle, and it can’t obscure your road view. Or, you can use hands-free technology like Bluetooth.

When It’s Illegal to Use a Mobile Phone in Your Car

First off, it’s always illegal for learners or restricted drivers to use their mobiles while driving. There are no exceptions.

It’s illegal for fully licenced drivers to use their mobiles for:

  • Texting
  • Video messaging
  • Taking photos
  • Using social media
  • Email
  • Any similar or related activities.

What about when you’re stationary? It’s still illegal to use your mobile phone if you’re stationary at:

  • Intersections
  • Traffic lights
  • Roadworks or you’re in a traffic queue

You can’t touch your phone if you’re pulled over by police, either, unless they ask to see your digital driving licence.

If you’re caught on a mobile phone detection camera, it can be a highly stressful experience. It’s important that you know your rights. So, if it happens to you, then you may need a traffic lawyer. For legal advice and assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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