New mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras are now operating across the state’s road network to help keep Victorians safe and reduce road trauma.
Minister for Police Anthony Carbines announced that the new AI-enabled cameras have officially been turned on to help catch people using their mobile phone and not wearing their seatbelts while driving.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested $33.7 million as part of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 to introduce the new cameras, which are estimated to prevent 95 crashes that result in injury or death per year.
Initially two mobile phone and seatbelt detection camera trailer systems will roll out, with plans to deploy additional trailers from mid-2023 onwards. Once activated, the cameras will be deployed to more than 200 locations in rural and metropolitan areas throughout Victoria.
A three-month grace period will apply from the technology’s activation before drivers face infringement and demerit penalties with advisory letters sent.
To support the rollout of the mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has launched a new public education campaign to remind motorists that the cameras are operating.
The rollout of the cameras coincides with new driver distraction road rules which came into effect across the state on Friday, bringing Victoria in line with the Australian Road Rules.
The new rules will extend current mobile phone laws to cover modern technologies like in-built vehicle systems, mounted devices, wearable devices (such as smartwatches) and portable devices (such as tablets).
The new cameras will enforce portable device and seatbelt offences, while Victoria Police can issue fines roadside for illegal use of devices and seatbelt offences under the new rules. Motorists caught driving distracted will receive penalties of four demerit points and a $555 fine.
The Labor Government has also invested an additional $49.4 million for the installation of 35 new fixed digital road safety camerasaimed at lowering crashes, trauma, and death on our roads. The first of these cameras will start enforcement today, with two new cameras in operation in Avondale Heights and St Kilda.
For more information on the new road rules, visit vicroads.vic.gov.au/drivingdistractionsExternal Link.
As stated by Minister for Police Anthony Carbines
“Using mobile phones behind the wheel puts lives at risk and can result in tragedy. We’re deterring this type of risky behaviour on our roads with new phone and seatbelt detection technology.”
As stated by Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne
“Any moment we’re distracted when driving is dangerous and these new rules are in place to protect the lives of Victorians.”