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How Australia's New South Wales cameras and AI curb cellphone use while driving

14 October 2020 7:28 AM
Tags:
Cell phone
Mobile phones
Road Traffic laws
New South Wales
cell phones and driving

A fascinating combo of cameras and artificial intelligence has seen a major clamp down on the use of mobile phones while driving.

The Australian state of New South Wales successfully piloted a system of fixed and mobile cameras to detect the illegal use of mobile phones by drivers, and made it into law from 1 March 2020.

Artificial Intelligence is then used to filter out the millions of images to pick out transgressors, who are then penalised. But has this made a difference in driver behaviour?

Lester Kiewit speaks to Peter Khoury, Head of Media at the National Roads and Motorists Association (Australia)

The way the technology works here in New South Wales is they use a method of cancellation, using two fixed cameras and four mobile cameras - and there will be an increase in cameras throughout the year.

Peter Khourey, Head of Media - National Roads and Motorists Association (Australia)

The cameras take images of drivers as they go past, he explains.

The images are then discarded or kept through a process of elimination.

If a driver has both hands on the wheel, for example, the image is discarded - and this moves through to images where a driver has one hand or no hands on the wheel, which are then followed up further in a manual process.

Has this changed driver behavior?

Well, it has certainly caught a lot of people. From 1 March to June there were 100,000 fines of people across New South Wales using their phones illegally, and those fines raised over $16 million in revenue.

Peter Khourey, Head of Media - National Roads and Motorists Association (Australia)

He explains the strict demerit system for drivers in that state and how this could result in people losing their driving licence.

Listen to the interview below:


14 October 2020 7:28 AM
Tags:
Cell phone
Mobile phones
Road Traffic laws
New South Wales
cell phones and driving

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