Drivers in New South Wales, Australia will now be observed and soon be fined for using their phones while driving, Car Advice reports. The phone detection cameras will go live later this year following a six-month trial, in which 8.5 million vehicles were scanned and over 100,000 drivers have been caught with phones while driving, though those caught during the trial will not be fined.

The phone detection cameras have been in two locations in the state, and drivers caught in the cameras’ first three months of operation will be issued a warning letter. Once the system is fully operational, offenders will be fined AUD344 (RM973) and five demerit points, the report said, adding that the system will be ‘progressively expanded’ to reach more than 135 million vehicle checks annually by 2023.

“There is strong community support for more enforcement to stop illegal mobile phone use, with 80% of people we surveyed supporting use of the mobile phone detection cameras,” said New South Wales minister for roads Andrew Constance. The systems provider for the phone detection cameras is Accusensus, whose founder Alex Jannick created the cameras after his friend was killed by a distracted driver.

“Since my friend James was killed by an impaired and phone distracted driver five years ago, I have had a strong desire to develop this technology to save lives,” Jannick explained.

Given how common smartphones are today, this is inevitable in just about any urban area. What do you think, dear readers? Should this be implemented here in Malaysia?