From today, Auckland will have three operational traffic cameras dotted around the region to see how many motorists use their mobile phone while driving or don’t wear a seatbelt.
The cameras will be operational for six months and are merely trial cameras at this stage.
No fines, penalties or warnings will be dished out to motorists caught driving dangerously. Instead, images with infringements will be permanently deleted within 48 hours of being taken.
According to the Herald, the trial will cost $380,000.
Similar cameras are already established in Australia and the United Kingdom. In Australia, the penalty for being caught using your phone by a camera is $352 (or $469 in a school zone) and five demerit points.
Australia has had these cameras in place since 2020.
Waka Kotahi will publish the findings of its trial after the six months are up. The agency will then decide how to approach setting up permanent cameras around the city or if they are needed at all.
Waka Kotahi director of land transport Kane Patena says distracted drivers led to 24 fatal crashes in 2020.
Patena says the trial is the next step towards achieving the Road to Zero campaign.
Road to Zero is the New Zealand Government’s ambition to have zero road fatalities by 2050.