Mobile phone detection cameras to reap $350m a year

The NSW government is set to reap up to $350 million a year in fines from motorists once its new mobile phone detection cameras are switched on.

That is according to modelling by Labor, who say it is likely the cameras will result in about one million fines being issued each year, generating $348 million for the government by 2023.

The Berejiklian government is spending $88 million on the cameras which will screen more than 123 million vehicles annually by 2023. Drivers will receive a warning letter for their first offence.

A driver checks their phone while at a set of traffic lights in Frenchs Forest in September this year. Picture by Damian Shaw
A driver checks their phone while at a set of traffic lights in Frenchs Forest in September this year. Picture by Damian Shaw


After that they will be hit with a $344 fine and five demerit points.

During a six-month trial, tech company Acusensus checked 8.5 million cars and found more than 100,000 drivers using their phones illegally.

"With more than a million fines likely each year unless drivers dramatically change their behaviour, this will dwarf revenue from speeding and red light cameras," Opposition roads spokesman John Graham said.

"None of these cameras will have warning signs … We need to change driver behaviour."

 

 

Pictured is a speed camera warning sign in Kings Cross. Picture: Richard Dobson
Pictured is a speed camera warning sign in Kings Cross. Picture: Richard Dobson

This week Roads Minister Andrew Constance confirmed the government was considering removing signs alerting drivers to the presence of fixed and mobile speed cameras. He denied it was a cash grab, saying it was "about saving lives".

But The Daily Telegraph can reveal in Victoria, where there are no warning signs, the government earns more than three times the amount from speed cameras as NSW - $338 million compared to just $105 million in 2017-18.

In the same year in Queensland, where the locations of cameras are hidden from the public, the government earned $160 million.