Cameras which can detect if motorists are using their mobiles phones, eating or reading while driving have arrived in Sydney.
The hi-tech cameras have been set-up above one of the city’s busiest roads and they can also analyse driver behaviour behind the wheel.
It comes as new figures reveal Australian drivers are distracted 45 per cent of the time they are on the road – every 96 seconds.
Cameras which have the ability to detect if motorists are using their mobile phones while driving have been set-up above one of Sydney’s busiest roads in a world-first trial
The cameras are perched above Sydney’s M4 Motorway at Prospect, on the Clunies Ross Street overpass
The new cameras have been attached to the Clunies Ross Street overpass at Prospect to watch over the M4 Motorway, Seven News reported.
The world-first project is currently in the testing phase, with no infringements to be given out during the trial period and all test recordings obtained to be deleted.
Three competing companies have provided cameras for testing, with the trial phase to determine how reliable the new technology is.
The technology uses a combination of artificial intelligence, stills and video to pinpoint which drivers are doing the wrong through behind the wheel.
New South Wales is the first state to introduce legislation to enable camera-based enforcement of illegal mobile phone use.
The state’s Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, introduced the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Bill 2018 in March.
New figures have revealed drivers are distracted 45 per cent of the time they are on the road
Ms Pavey said the government was confident ‘we will get the technology right’ but added ‘we’re not going to trick anybody’.
She said the cameras can capture drivers who are ‘Facebooking, texting, looking at their phones instead of ahead of them on the road’.
New South Wales Centre for Road Safety’s Bernard Carlon said drivers are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are texting and driving.
There have been 184 accidents in New South Wales in the past five years which have been blamed on mobile phone use.
Seven people have died and 47 have been seriously injured as a result of those accidents.
Real-life trials of the cameras are expected to kick-off early next year.
Researchers have recently found drivers were distracted every 96 seconds by something other than the road
Hundreds of drivers were recently filmed inside their cars over nearly two million kilometres by researchers specialising in driver distraction, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Researchers found drivers were distracted every 96 seconds by something other than the road.
‘That’s a big figure,’ lead researcher Dr Kristie Young, a senior fellow with Monash University’s Accident Research Centre, said.
Of those non-driving tasks filmed, six per cent resulted in near misses, with motorists forced to swerve or break sharply to avoid a collision.
Most of the near-misses were caused by drivers talking and texting behind the wheel, reaching for an object or engaging in personal hygiene.