Drivers who use mobile devices illegally while behind the wheel are being targeted in north Orange following the recent arrival of a new Mobile Phone Detection Camera along the Northern Distributor Road.
Social media has been awash with shocked drivers turning to community groups and pages on Facebook to query the camera's purpose and use, as Transport for NSW isn't required to signpost the safety technology.
Nor does Transport for NSW disclose locations of the cameras, making no apologies for that approach in its continued bid to deter drivers from breaking the law and in turn putting people's lives at risk.
"Simply taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, the time it takes to read a message on your phone, doubles the risk of a crash. No matter who you are or how good of a driver you think you are, the message is simple - get your hand off it.
Locations for Mobile Phone Detection Cameras are determined by a number of criteria including prevalence of crashes, evidence of mobile phone use, advice from NSW Police or locations where enforcement is difficult.
Fixed and transportable detection cameras have been deployed across the state as part of a Transport for NSW program, which aims to reach close to 100 per cent of the NSW population through a mix of metropolitan and regional locations.
There's good reason for cameras to be placed in Orange and the Central West too, the region's offence rate is higher than that of the state-wide average.
Between March 1, 2020 and March 31 this year cameras across the region checked more than 800,00 vehicles, resulting in 2,790 penalty notices being issued.
That equates to one in every 313 drivers at an offence rate of 0.32 per cent, compared to the state-wide average of 0.22 per cent. It is, however, significantly lower than the 1.2 per cent rate uncovered during the program's pilot period in 2019.
Every cent from mobile phone detection camera revenue goes directly into the Community Road Safety Fund too, which is used for important road programs and upgrades, education programs and school zone flashing lights.
NSW Police continue to enforce illegal mobile phone use and issue infringements as part of regular operations in both Orange and the Central West.
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