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Drivers Using Mobile Phones Will Be Slammed With Fines After Hidden Cameras Go Live

Drivers caught using mobile phones by hidden cameras across NSW will no longer be able to avoid detection or hefty fines from Sunday, March 1.

Mobile phone detection cameras have been spotting drivers handling phones and issuing them with warning letters for the past three months across Sydney and regional NSW.

But now drivers now will be hit with $344 fines and will lose up to five demerit points if they're caught in the act.

This includes drivers who attempt to hide from cameras by using phones on their laps or under the steering wheel.

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While some may see it as a money-grabbing tactic by the NSW government to raise revenue, it claims mobile detection cameras have been effective in halting the use of phones on the road.

Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said nine million vehicles had been checked by the cameras during the three-month warning period, with more than 30,000 warning letters issued to offending drivers.

“We’re seeing more than 99 per cent of drivers doing the right thing, so when we compare this with the findings from the pilot last year, it is clear drivers are starting to get the message," Constance said.

Another motorist is snapped using their phone while driving.

“It’s important drivers who continue to put the safety of themselves, passengers and the local community at risk realise that no matter where you are you could be caught and you will be fined."

The largest penalties will be levelled against provisional-plate drivers who will lose their license immediately if they're caught holding a mobile phone.

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Independent modelling claims 100 lives could be saved by the technology over five years.

Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole said taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds doubled the risk of a crash.

“The decision to pick up your phone can have fatal consequences. Whether you’re driving on a major highway or an isolated road in the bush, there’s no excuse for using your phone illegally,” Toole said.

Hidden cameras snapped this driver with their mobile in hand.

The government said they plan to implement 45 cameras across the state by 2023, scanning 135 million vehicle checks yearly.

The cameras are not signposted and will be moved frequently around NSW roads.

Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au