THE location of mobile phone detection cameras in the region may not have been revealed, but they'll be switched on from this Sunday, December 1.
The fixed and relocatable cameras are part of a statewide rollout following successful trials in Sydney earlier this year.
During the trials, around 8.5 million vehicles were checked with 100,000 drivers caught using their phone while driving.
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For the first the three months a warning letter will be issued to drivers caught using their phone, after that motorists will cop a hefty fine.
The penalty is five demerit points and a $344 fine ($457 in a school zone). The penalty increases to 10 demerit points during double-demerit periods.
Central West road safety expert Matthew Irvine praised the camera rollout and said the technology would save lives.
If you have your eyes off the road for two seconds at 100km/h you'll travel 56 metres.Road safety expert Matthew Irvine
"If you have your eyes off the road for two seconds at 100km/h you'll travel 56 metres," he said.
"In that time you could drive a wheel off the edge of the verge or you could drift over the other side of the road.
"Cars have never been safer, but we're eroding any benefit of this technology by our bad driving habits."
Mr Irvine said warning signs should not be erected at individual camera sites, but that signs saying cameras were in a section of upcoming road would deter most motorists.
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"There are people who literally cannot control their need to touch their phone and this [the cameras] will not deter some people," he said.
"Habitual offenders will keep doing it until they're caught and then they might think again."
Former NSW Police senior sergeant in the Orana region and now driving instructor, Greg Reichart, has attended many fatal road accidents during his 30 years as a highway patrol officer and said any technology that would deter driver distraction was a huge benefit.
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"It's an obsession with the phones now ... they're just an everyday tool and people think 'it's not going to happen to me'," he said.
Mr Reichart agreed that warning signs should not be installed at each camera location.
"You need to be alert all the time," he said.
There is a really bad culture in this country of using your phone while driving and we have to stop it.Regional Roads Minister Paul Toole
Regional Roads Minister Paul Toole told Australian Community Media in September that a mix of fixed and relocatable cameras would be used in city and regional areas.
"We're finding that with fatalities on our roads, 70 per cent are in the bush and mobile phone use is one of the three big killers," he said.
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Mr Toole said people using their phone while driving were not only putting themselves at risk but other road users as well.
"There is a really bad culture in this country of using your phone while driving and we have to stop it," he said.
"The money generated through the use of these cameras will go back into road safety campaigns and saving lives on country roads."
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