Over the weekend, the new mobile phone cameras across New South Wales officially came into effect.

The trial period for the technology, designed to catch drivers illegally using a mobile phone came to an end, meaning that those caught by the cameras will now be fined.

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving now carries a the loss of a massive five demerit points and a fine of over $300.

Speaking with Kyle and Jackie O this morning about the artificial intelligence, Bernard Carlin, the Executive Director for Road Safety and Transport, said the cameras are necessary in order to save lives.

“Saving lives, that’s what this is all about,” Mr Carlin told us. “These cameras have all been operating at 70km/h and above locations across the state. This is people driving along, texting, looking down at their phones at 80 and 90kms/h.

“About 80 per cent of the fatal crashes involving mobile phones happen on high speed roads,” he added.

According to Mr Carlin, over the trial period they found that these cameras actually worked in deterring people from using their phones illegally behind the wheel.

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“During the warning letter period we saw the number of people being caught drop by more than half.”

While being caught out by the camera will bring a hefty fine and loss of a lot of demerit points, particularly in a double demerits period, Mr Carlin said that this is in place in order to deter people from doing the wrong thing and won’t be lessened.

So where does the money from our fines actually go?

While Bernard said that they have to pay the company contracted to developing the artificial intelligence of the cameras, all revenue made from fines goes back into the community.

“The NSW government are operating the cameras, they’re under contract to someone who’s developed the technology, but all the funds go into the community road safety fund and gets spent on improving child education for road safety, building safer roads, enhanced enforcement systems,” said Mr Carlin.

“So no third party company that owns the cameras are making any money off these fines?” Kyle asked.

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“There’s a contract to provide a service and that’s being provided but that’s a separate contract for providing the service that was done in a comepetitive way,” Mr Carlin continued. “But all the fine revenue goes into he community road safety fund.”

Bernard Carlin continued to tell us how the artificial intelligence is used to determine whether a person is using a mobile phone behind the wheel and he also told us exactly what the cameras that can be moved to various locations around the state look like.

You can hear more from our chat with the executive director for Road Safety and Transport in the podcast below!