DRIVERS who are using their phones illegally while behind the wheel of their car are the target of new road safety technology being used across Bathurst.
Transportable mobile phone detectors are currently being used on a number of arterial roads in the city, including Durham Street and The Great Western Highway.
The mobile phone detection camera program aims to reach close to 100 per cent of the NSW population through a mix of metropolitan and regional locations.
Since March 1 2020, the cameras have been operating in enforcement mode across NSW and up until October 31 2020 they had checked more than 400,000 vehicles within the Central West region.
This resulted in 1,037 penalty notices being issued.
Around one in every 400 drivers checked in the Bathurst region during this period (March 1 to October 31, 2020) were issued a penalty notice, an offence rate of 0.25 per cent.
This is a significantly lower rate of offending when compared to the pilot period when one in every 82 drivers across NSW were detected using their mobile phone illegally.
However, the offence rate of 0.25 per cent for the Bathurst region is slightly higher than the current NSW average of 0.22 per cent of drivers (or one in 450) detected illegally using a mobile phone during this period (March 1 to October 31 2020).
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
Transport for NSW, Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation, Tara McCarthy said lives are being lost on NSW roads because of drivers illegally using their mobile phones.
"We are committed to halting the trend - and that's why we've been rolling out this world first safety technology targeting illegal mobile phone use," she said.
Ms McCarthy said fixed and transportable mobile phone detection cameras have been deployed across the state and transportable cameras are regularly moved from site to site across NSW.
She said Transport for NSW does not disclose the locations of the mobile phone detection cameras to deter people from breaking the law and putting people's lives at risk.
"Offenders could be caught anywhere on the road network at any time.
"Research has found handheld mobile phone use while driving is associated with at least a four-fold increase in the risk of having a crash in which at least one person is killed or injured, and texting increases the crash risk even further," she said.