Grace Period to End for Mobile Phone Detection Cameras
The three-month grace period for NSW drivers caught using their phones by detection cameras will end on 1 March 2020.
After the initial trial of the cameras in 2019 the NSW Government put in place a grace period during the first three months, starting December 2019, which meant that drivers were issued with a warning letter if detected by the cameras illegally using a mobile phone. This grace period is now ending and starting on 1 March 2020 drivers will be issued with a fine and loss of demerit points.
The current penalty for motorists illegally operating a mobile phone is five demerit points (10 during double demerit periods) as well as a $344 fine or a $457 fine if detected in a school zone. These cameras will also differ to red light and speed cameras as they will be introduced without location warning signs for drivers.
During the trial of the cameras, over 100,000 of the 85 million drivers checked by the cameras were found to be using their phones illegally.
Over the next three years, the NSW Government plans to “progressively expand” the amount of mobile phone detection cameras. These cameras will hopefully deter drivers from using their phones and reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes.
However, there are also allowances put in place for fully licensed drivers, who are able to make or answer a phone call, use the audio playing function (music) and use it as a driving aid (navigation) as long as it is hands free and doesn’t obscure their view of the road, this video explains these rules further.
To find out more about the rules regarding mobile phone usage for motorists click here.