Alex McCredie with the cameras which can detect people using their mobile phones while driving.
Alex McCredie with the cameras which can detect people using their mobile phones while driving. Mark Stewart

Cameras to catch drivers using mobile phones now law

BIG brother will have the long arm of the law on his side from Sunday for anyone using their mobile phone while driving.

New South Wales has legislated camera-based enforcement of illegal mobile phone use - other states are undertaking reviews.

The only problem is the system isn't ready.

The NSW government is in the middle of a tender process having called for expressions of interest.

Alex McCredie, project manager for One Task, is among those who have tendered for the work and believes his company has created a world-first system which catches people in the act.

"It's ready to trial. There are some things to nut out in collaboration with the government ... as with how our systems fit into their systems,” he said.

"In terms of technology to capture people, we have demonstrated that it works and catches a lot of people.”

Aware of one other camera system in Saudi Arabia where drivers are caught when holding their phones up to their ear, the One Task cameras analyse when people are looking down.

"All of the people we see out on the roads are all holding their phones, texting, browsing or on Facebook. No one holds their phone up to their ear any more,” Mr McCredie said.

"It's an even more dangerous activity because your eyes are totally averted from the road.

"It captures at a point as they drive past, and it captures footage and analyses whether someone is on the phone. The system flags that, it is then it is reviewed by the computer and there is a final manual review.”

A HI-TECH camera which can detect people using their mobile phones while driving is being used in a demonstration in Melbourne. Alex McCredie with the camera. Picture: Mark Stewart
Cameras which can detect people using their mobile phones while driving. Mark Stewart

The courts have seen increasing incidents of driver negligence.

Shine Lawyers' national special counsel, Roger Singh said the issue was approaching epidemic proportions and applauded the NSW government for taking action.

"Something has to be done as a matter of urgency to stamp out this kind of conduct behind the wheel,” he said.

"Steps have been taken for many years now with respect to illicit substances and those who are drinking alcohol and seeing fit to drive, and as far as mobile phones are concerned its up there with negligent act.

"Phones are incredibly addictive. We see time again, a moment of distraction can kill people or severely injure people.”

Queensland Police have been asked for comment.