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Mobile phone detection cameras to roll out in SA

High risk locations targeted for SA-first mobile phone detection cameras

SA’s first mobile phone detection cameras will soon be rolled out on key metropolitan corridors, in a $15.9 million initiative as the State Government pushes to reduce road trauma caused by driver distraction.

Following a successful trial of the technology earlier this year, five priority locations across Adelaide have been identified for the installation of mobile phone detection cameras (MPDC):

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

    Pending final technical and environmental review of these five locations, the enforcement cameras are expected to be installed on existing digital variable message signage and operational by June 2024.


    A three-month educational period will operate from June to September 2024 where drivers will not be fined or lose demerit points, following which SA Police will issue fines, which are currently of $540 (plus $99 victims of crime levy) and three demerit points for drivers who illegally use their mobile phone.

    All funds raised from the fines will be returned to the Community Road Safety Fund, to deliver crucial road safety initiatives across the state, including safety improvements, education programs and hard-hitting public advertising.

    The State Government’s selection of camera locations is based on research by Adelaide University’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research, considering crash trends and targeting busy road corridors across different areas of Adelaide.

    Inattention continues to be a contributing factor in around half of all lives lost and over a third of serious injuries on South Australian roads.

    The cameras work by capturing high quality images from multiple angles through the driver’s windscreen, with artificial intelligence software identifying drivers on their mobile phones.

Photographs of drivers are then validated by SA Police, with images of those following the law deleted.

Mobile phone detection cameras already operate in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland and a three-month grace period is underway in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Malinauskas Government recently announced a $168 million joint road safety funding commitment with the Commonwealth Government, in addition to $98 million included in the 2023-24 State Budget. This will see more than a quarter of a billion dollars invested over five years to make South Australian roads safer.

Police Minister, Joe Szakacs, said with the devastating number of lives lost in 2023, these cameras serve as another crucial tool to address driver distraction.

“Drivers must give their full attention to the driving task, to ensure not only their own safety, but that of other road users around them,” he said.

“We know inattention is the leading cause of death and serious injury on South Australian roads, with using a mobile phone while driving increasing your crash risk by at least four times.

We’re out to change behaviour and help drivers realise that there is no safe level of mobile use while driving.”

Ian Parrot, SAPOL Assistant Commissioner State Operations Service, said unfortunately mobile phone use is becoming increasingly common while driving. “Everyone would have seen someone using their mobile phone while driving.”

“Over the past five years, distraction has played a significant part in causing crashes that resulted in 1,285 serious injuries and 198 lives lost in South Australia.”

Between 2018 and 2022, 33,982 expiations were issued by SA Police members to drivers/riders for using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Darren Davis, President of the Get Home Safe Foundation, said these cameras were just one way to reduce deaths and injuries due to distraction.

“But we can all make an even bigger difference. We ask everyone out there to stop accepting that driving while looking at or using mobile devices is ok, it’s not.

Tell your family members, your friends, or anyone who is driving you that if they care for you then leave the phone alone while driving.

I truly believe that society has had enough. I can promise you that families who have lost loved ones never, ever recover from the heartache. We urge everyone to drive so that they, and all road users always get home safe to their families… every day.”


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