The Victorian and Queensland governments have announced that they will test the use of mobile phone surveillance cameras on the road to catch drivers’ illegal use of mobile phones while driving. In Victoria, a three-month trial will begin on Wednesday, July 29, when it will place high-resolution cameras in several metropolises and regions.
the focus of this test is to ensure that the technology, which is designed to detect mobile phone use and other illegal driving behaviors such as not wearing seat belts, can operate accurately before it is put into use.
at the same time, the trial will help state governments understand how to integrate mobile surveillance cameras with existing road safety camera systems.
the trial will be carried out by acusensus, a technology provider and current contractor for traffic camera services in the state government.
Lisa Neville, Victoria’s minister of police and emergency services, said: “we know that distracted drivers can have disastrous consequences on the road, and this technology is another step towards addressing such unacceptable behavior and ensuring the safety of all road users.”
the Victorian government said there would be no violations or license plate matching during the test, adding that all photos taken would be deleted except for a “limited number” of non identifying images.
in Queensland, the assessment test will last for six months. The local government will also promote mobile phone monitoring cameras in major cities and regions. As in Victoria, the camera can not only catch drivers using their mobile phones illegally while driving, but also people who don’t wear seat belts.
the Queensland government said the camera, which uses artificial intelligence technology, can monitor vehicles crossing multiple lanes 24 hours a day and can be installed on overpasses or on roadside trailers. In addition, it said that those who were found to have done something wrong during the test would not be fined and would not receive pictures of their illegal activities.
mark Bailey, Queensland’s head of transport and main roads, said: “initially, we were just assessing the effectiveness of the cameras.” In addition, he assured that while all vehicles passing through the cameras would be scanned, the images could only be viewed by “authorized personnel” as part of the test process.
it is understood that both tests were carried out after the launch of mobile phone surveillance cameras in New South Wales. In March, the New South Wales Government began to impose fines and demerits on those who were caught on camera using their mobile phones while driving.