Adelaide cracks down on distracted driving with new detection cameras

Motoring group outlines safety rules for motorists

Adelaide cracks down on distracted driving with new detection cameras

Motor & Fleet

By Roxanne Libatique

The Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (SAA) has reminded motorists that Adelaide’s new mobile phone detection cameras will be activated this week, aiming to reduce distracted driving.

In the past five years, SA Police have fined more than 31,000 drivers for using their phones while driving, resulting in over $13 million in penalties.

Beginning Wednesday, June 19, these cameras will operate with a three-month grace period during which drivers caught using their phones will only receive warnings instead of fines.

Southern Australians urged to keep phones out of sight when driving

RAA advises drivers to store their phones out of sight to prevent distractions.

Fully-licensed drivers using their phones for navigation must place the device in a dedicated holder or cradle that does not obstruct their view.

The RAA emphasised the following rules for motorists:

  • Drivers must be legally parked (in Park, with the handbrake engaged) before using their mobile devices.
  • Bluetooth or hands-free technology should be used for phone calls, keeping them brief.
  • Navigation or audio functions must be set before driving or when legally parked.
  • Learner and P1 drivers are prohibited from using phones for any purpose, including navigation or hands-free calls.

Distraction is the major cause of road accidents in Australia

RAA senior manager road safety Charles Mountain noted that distraction is a leading cause of road accidents.

“These new mobile phone detection cameras being operational should serve as a timely reminder for drivers not to ever be tempted to touch their phone when they’re driving,” he said. “You’re four times more likely to be involved in a crash while using a mobile phone – so it’s best to put your device away completely until you reach your destination.”

For GPS or navigation use, the Australian Road Rules (Reg 300) require that phones be secured in a commercially designed and manufactured cradle affixed to the vehicle without obstructing visibility.

Mobile phone detection cameras at Adelaide

The detection cameras will be operational at five locations across Adelaide:

  • Southern Expressway, Darlington;
  • South Road, Torrensville;
  • North South Motorway, Regency Park;
  • Port Road, Hindmarsh; and
  • Port Wakefield Road, Gepps Cross.

Last month, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) urged motorcyclists to focus on their safety, noting a marked increase in rider deaths across the state’s roads.

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