Australia using traffic cameras to catch texting motorists

Canberra is adopting cameras to help catch and prosecute drivers who fail to stop using their phones while driving

Australia using traffic cameras to catch texting motorists

THE Australian state of Canberra has rolled out cameras on some of its roads to help catch and prosecute drivers who fail to put down their mobile phones while they are driving.

First reported in Time.com, the system makes use of two cameras, one to capture the registration plate and another that points down, through the windscreen and into a car’s cockpit to see what the driver is doing with their hands.

The high-tech system utilises artificial intelligence to be able to decipher between somebody using their phone and somebody simply changing the air-con or using the car’s controls. Once a picture is flagged as potentially featuring illegal activity, the picture is sent for human verification before an infringement notice is sent to the driver.

The fines imposed for using a phone at the wheel in Australia is AU$344 (£187) and the cameras are either fixed on road gantries or attached to trailers and moved around the state.

The six-month trial of the system is reported to have checked 8.5m vehicles, with more than 100,000 drivers being caught with their hands on their phones. The trial even caught one driver using a phone and an iPad device at the same time!

The government number crunchers have claimed that the cameras could help prevent up to 100 deaths or serious injuries over five years, if the tech is adopted. To do this, the Australian Government now wants to roll the program out to capture 135m checks a year by 2023.

Now, this is a type of street camera we can get behind!

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