Australia is using AI cameras to identify drivers using phones

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 2, 2019

We've been told a million times that texting (or tweeting) while driving is risky.

The Australian state of New South Wales rolled out "high definition detection cameras" on Sunday, created to catch drivers using cell phones behind the wheel.

"There is strong community support for more enforcement, with 80% of people surveyed supporting the use of detection cameras to stop illegal mobile phone use", Carlon said in the release.

Executive Director of Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said a trial of cameras earlier this year caught over 100,000 drivers illegally using a phone. This year alone, 329 people have died on the road in North South Wales Australia compared to 354 in 2018.

When the program was tested past year, the cameras spotted over 100,000 drivers illegally using phones behind the wheel. When the camera detects a driver is using the phone, it will snap a picture which will then be verified by authorized personnel.

Andrew Constance, New South Wales' Minister for Roads said the "world-first" technology would target illegal cell phone use through "fixed and mobile trailer-mounted cameras". Other functions, including using social media, video calling, photography, playing audio while driving are only legal if a driver has parked their vehicle outside of traffic.

While the system will involve an actual person to review the photos, there are still concerns that the courts will see a huge influx of drivers disputing the fines. For the first three months, drivers caught using their phones will only receive a warning, but after that period, they will be hit with a $344 AUD ($233 US) fine and five penalty points, or $457 AUD ($309 US) if in a school zone and 10 penalty points during double penalty periods.

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