Why new cameras could revolutionise driving and accident claims. - Law Partners

Why new cameras could revolutionise driving and accident claims.

From July 1, 2018, driving alone on NSW’s roads will never be the same again as Big Brother will be watching.

The state government’s decision to introduce camera technology to catch and fine individuals using their mobile phones while driving, looks set to have a dramatic impact on not only drivers themselves but the driving laws as we know them.

A recent trial conducted by the state government using the camera technology on Sydney’s Harbour Bridge caught a whopping 750 drivers using their phones in just six hours. Remarkably, an average of 760 people were fined for illegal mobile phone use per week across all of NSW last year.

But we all know phones are certainly not the only distraction for drivers. If successfully tested, the technology could also catch out drivers who are actively distracted while driving. Eating, playing with your smart watch, putting on makeup, effectively any activity that takes your hands off the wheel or eyes and attention off the road could result in fines for failure to pay due care and attention.

In addition, the use of these cameras could also be extended to determining liability in motor vehicle accidents.

According to Law Partners Managing Solicitor, Bill Cortese, if successfully enforced, this could revolutionise the way we determine accident liability in that it could reveal how locked in or focused a driver is in the lead up to an accident.

“As a tool, if it functions as advertised, this could be a game changer in terms of motor accident liability,” Bill Cortese reveals.

“If we have two parties disputing who was at fault in an accident and camera technology can pick up and snap evidence of one driver on the phone or clearly not paying due attention – then it would obviously prove to be a major barrier to prosecuting their CTP claim.

“If we have this kind of evidence and we’re representing the not at-fault driver who suffered serious injuries, it would allow us to resolve the liability issue quickly and focus on getting our client compensation for lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering and future losses.”

How and when the technology works and what it can detect:

  • The cameras have the capacity to track motorists for 50 metres at a time and immediately eliminate drivers who have hands on the wheel and nothing in their lap.
  • Drivers who are flagged as distracted by a phone while driving then have their footage reviewed by a person to verify the infringement.
  • Fully licensed drivers are only permitted to use their mobile phones if they re fixed in a hands-free position for the purpose of making or receiving calls, navigation or playing audio. It’s illegal to have the phone in your lap or between your ear and shoulder.
  • The cameras in trial are so sophisticated that they can also detect the model of your phone.

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