Drivers using their mobile phones are a focus of a road safety crackdown in the region that started on Friday.
This comes just days before the government switches on mobile phone detection cameras on Sunday.
Wollongong Police District Commander Superintendent Evan Quarmby said Operation Chrome will see both marked and plain police vehicles patrolling streets in the Illawarra.
"Police will be out enforcing the road rules - we will have a high-visibility presence," Supt Quarmby said.
"We're looking at things like speeding, we're looking at impatient motorists on the road and we're certainly looking at motorists who are distracted by mobile phones or other things that take their mind away from what they're doing."
Being caught using a mobile phone incurs five demerit points and a $344 fine - it is also a double demerit offence, which means the penalties are doubled at Christmas and other times of the year.
"I think both the monetary penalty and the points penalty that are attached to these offences are a clear indication of how serious we are and how much care that drivers need to take when they're behind the wheel of a motor vehicle," Supt Quarmby said.
On Sunday, Transport for NSW will flick the switch on mobile phone detection cameras across the state.
The cameras will take photos of the front cabin area of vehicles and then technology will automatically review images and detect offending drivers.
"As technology evolves so to do our resources need to evolve to target road safety," Supt Quarmby said.
"Mobile phones are certainly a distraction for drivers. It's no secret that it's illegal to use your mobile phone in any way while your're driving.
"Mobile cameras are the newest evolution in our arsenal to protect other road users and to get people thinking about what they're doing behind the wheel of a car."
Operation Chrome will be part of a police focus on road safety heading into the Christmas period, where drink-driving offences tend to increase.
"As we move into the social season where people are attending Christmas parties, we certainly have a focus on drink driving," he said.
"We have a zero tolerance to people who get behind the wheel and are over the legal limit. We will certainly be out and about looking at those drivers with random breath testing and random drug testing.
"We will also be looking at alcohol-related offences in general."
Supt Quarmby said there was a reason for not keeping the crackdown a secret - it was about "education and preventing road trauma" as much as prevention and enforcement.