Hundreds of motorists in the Illawarra are being slapped with a hefty fine for using their mobile phone while driving.
Big fines and the possibility of losing your driver's licence are failing to deter people from illegally using their phone, data from Transport for NSW reveals.
So far this financial year, the mobile phone detection camera program performed over 680,000 vehicle checks in the Illawarra region and issued around 1400 fines.
This is an infringement rate of one in every 486 drivers.
During the 2021-22 financial year, there were around one million vehicle checks in the region and issued around 2750 fines were issued.
This is an infringement rate of one in every 364 drivers.
Transport for NSW uses a mix of 47 fixed and transportable cameras across the state, but a spokesperson declined to confirm where they are located in the Illawarra.
The fine for illegal mobile phone use is $362, or $481 if detected in a school zone. There is a five-demerit-point penalty for illegal mobile phone use, which increases to 10 demerit points during double-demerit periods.
These fines and demerit point penalties apply to camera-detected offences and infringements issued by NSW Police.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash.
"No text, phone call or social media update is worth someone's life - please reduce distractions and put the phone away when you're behind the wheel," they said.
Transport for NSW states that every cent from mobile phone detection camera fines goes directly into the Community Road Safety Fund to be reinvested in important road safety initiatives such as road safety education in schools, flashing lights in school zones and safety infrastructure like audio tactile line markings, crash barriers and vehicle-activated signs on high risk curves.
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