Australia launches new technology to screen drivers using phones

An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to stop using cell phones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute motorists. Australia’s most populous state is the first one in the world to use software to discipline drivers distracted by social media, text messages or phone calls. Experts and laymen know drivers who illegally use phones increase their chances of an accident.

Each device contains two cameras. A camera to take picture of a car’s registration plate and a second high-set lens looks through the windscreen to see what the drivers are doing with their hands.

The device uses artificial intelligence to eliminate drivers who are not touching their phones. Photos that show suspected illegal behavior are mentioned for verification by officers before a violation notice is sent to the vehicle’s listed owner along with a 344 Australian dollar ($232) fine. Cameras will be permanently fixed on pavements and some will be located on trailers and moved around the state.

In six months, there were over a lakh who were seen using their phones. There was a driver who was using an iPad as well as a cell phone simultaneously. They all have been sent notice. They want to increase the camera surveillance around the country.

Some national lawmakers wanted sign boards stating that there were cameras located to capture the illegal phone use, unlike the sign boards where the cameras record over speeding.

This model may help to reduce more than 100 fatal accidents annually.

The law is also applicable when the car is still, it can be at a signal or at a traffic jam. Drivers can touch the phone only when they have to pass it on to a fellow passenger. Bluetooth and handsfree operations of the phones are allowed.