Mobile phone detection cameras will be rolled out on Canberra’s roads by early next year following passage today of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment Bill 2021.
Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the new cameras would reduce driver distraction which is a major cause of accidents, helping to make Canberra’s roads safer for all users.
“Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash, with mobile phones too often being the source of that distraction,” said Minister Steel.
“Last year ACT Policing issued more than 1000 infringements for using a mobile device while driving, and the actual rate of offending is likely to be much higher.
“A driver who looks at their phone for just two seconds while driving at 60 kilometres an hour travels 33 metres blind.
“We want Canberrans to understand that any time you take your eyes off the road to use your mobile phone while driving, you’re risking your own life and the lives of other road users.”
The ACT Government is today launching a new communications campaign to raise community awareness of these risks.
The campaign will also ensure people understand the rules on using mobile devices while driving, ahead of the new cameras being rolled out.
The campaign includes TV, radio, digital and out-of-home advertising, and will be delivered in several phases leading up to the commencement of enforcement activity next year.
“We are calling on drivers to follow a series of simple steps to build better habits and stay focussed when driving,” said Minister Steel.
“These include removing your devices from view entirely, setting yourself up before you get on the road and turning on the ‘do not disturb’ function to remove notifications.
“Every accident that results in serious injury or death is a tragedy for our community. So as the campaign says: if you’re driving, leave your phone alone.”
The roll-out of mobile device detection cameras is another part of delivering on the ACT Government’s commitment to ‘Vision Zero’ of no deaths or serious injuries on Canberra’s roads.