Aussie drivers fined millions a month as new roadside cameras ramp up

New mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras in Victoria have snagged a whopping 52,000 drivers and passengers less than a year after being rolled out.

Left, a man caught using his mobile phone behind the wheel. Right, one of the new mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras in Victoria.
New cameras in Victoria have snagged 52,000 drivers and passengers using their mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt, resulting in millions of fines. Source: 7News

One Aussie state is raking in millions of dollars a month in fines after new mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras were installed less than a year ago. A staggering 52,000 drivers and passengers in Victoria have been caught out in the past 10 months — around 5,000 offenders per month — a figure police officials have deemed “shocking”.

While drivers have been made aware of the new technology, the number of people who have been caught out suggests there are plenty of motorists who still don't realise how closely they're being watched on the roads. And it's costing them more than $2 million dollars a month.

It is a $577 fine and four demerit points in the state for using a mobile phone behind the wheel, while drivers not wearing their seatbelt can receive a $385 fine and three demerits. Meaning overall the state is collecting roughly north of $2.35 million in fines a month from the new cameras.

A male Victorian driver snapped holding his phone behind the wheel.
Aussie drivers are getting caught out to the tune of millions. Source: 7News

According to data seen by 7News, 28 per cent of people busted on their phone or not wearing a seatbelt were men between the ages of 30 and 39.

“These will be people with families, many of them will be dads and uncles,” Police Minister Anthony Carbines told the network. “I’m shocked that people with great experience, who are significant users on our roads, should know better, [they] should be setting an example for younger road users.”

Carbines further described the offenders as “drivers with experience” who perhaps “feel that they know best”.

Police Minister Anthony Carbines pictured speaking to media.
Police Minister Anthony Carbines labelled the stats as 'shocking'. Source: 7News

Tragically, it is men between the ages of 30 and 39 that are also “dying most on our roads”, Samantha Cockfield with the Transport Accident Commission told 7News.

According to statistics from the TAC, 107 people have died on Victorian roads so far this year, 80 of them men — 20 of whom were aged between 30 and 39. The state recorded 295 deaths last year — a 22.4 per cent increase from the previous year.

Tired drivers are also a big contributor to fatal crashes, the TAC says, and also account for approximately 25 per cent of road trauma injuries at The Alfred and Royal Melbourne hospitals.

NSW announced earlier this year it will be doubling the number of mobile speed detection camera sites in a desperate bid to clamp down on the number of accident-rated fatalities.

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