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Cameras to detect illegal phone use while driving to be deployed on NSW roads

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The Australian state of NSW will become first place in the world to deploy sophisticated camera technology to catch drivers using their mobile devices illegally behind the wheel.

The decision to introduce speed camera-like technology was ratified in the NSW Parliament this week.

NSW State Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey says this momentous move is designed to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads because of smartphone distraction.

Ms Pavey is comparing this decision to the landmark ruling introducing random breath testing back in 1982.

These new cameras have been used in trials in Sydney to spot illegal mobile phone use.

The road rules state a driver can only use a mobile device connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth or controlled with your voice if it is resting in a cradle.

In this position, the mobile can be used for calls, GPS navigation and for streaming music.

It is illegal to send text messages and emails from your device while you’re driving.

It’s also against the law to hold your phone when stopped at traffic lights.

Drivers need to be parked legally with the engine turned off before they can touch their phone while sitting in their car.

Learner drivers and P1 and P2 licence holders cannot use any function of a mobile phone at all.

NSW Police fined more than 40,000 drivers for illegal phone use between June 2016 and June 2017.

A driver caught illegally using a phone will lose four demerit points and be fined $330.

Earlier this year, a 22-year-old man seriously injured two police officers at a roadside random breath testing station after taking his eyes off the road while using his mobile phone.

The NSW government will call for tenders from companies who will be able to supply the technology.