Melbourne to introduce mobile phone cameras
New overhead cameras will go live in Victoria to detect motorists using mobile phones, with increased fines and demerit points likely.
VICTORIA WILL FOLLOW its northern neighbour NSW in rolling out mobile phone detection cameras to catch motorists using phones and mobile devices while driving.
An announcement is pending that will confirm the overhead cameras to be trialled with warning notices before fines are issued. It echoes the scheme used in NSW in which the cameras were first trialled to raise driver awareness. Since yesterday, December 1, NSW cameras are now live and warning notices will be sent for the first three months only. After that, fines and demerit points will be issued.
Speaking to Melbourne paper, The Age, Victorian Labour MP and Roads Minister Jaala Pulford said the cameras were close to going into operation and that it’s about time phone addiction was stopped when driver’s get behind the wheel. Pulford also suggested fines will be harsher for mobile phone use when driving.
“We need people to be generally afraid of getting caught,” she said to The Age.
“These cameras, we hope, will put that fear into people that they will get caught and that, coupled with probably a harsher penalty, will be a very potent combination.
“We are getting very close,” she said.
“The government has made no secret about our desire to have tougher penalties and a more effective enforcement regime for people caught on their phones.
“We know that this is ever-present and we have a real behavioural challenge.
“We need to break the phone addiction nexus when we are behind the wheel.”
NSW’s trial which was operational for the past six months before ‘going live’ recorded over 18 million drivers and identified 100,000 using their phone while behind the wheel.
Beyond being illegal and distracting, using your phone carries a $496 fine in Victoria and four demerit points.