Where new mobile detection cameras are
The new mobile detection cameras have, in their first week of operation in NSW, caught more than 3000 people illegally using their phones behind the wheel.
A massive difference between these cameras and speed cameras is that the locations have been kept secret and there is no signage to warn motorists they are approaching a camera.
But now a few of the hot spots where drivers have been caught have been revealed by Roads Minister Andrew Constance.
Speaking on 2GB, Mr Constance said about eight of the new cameras had been turned on at the start of December and revealed three locations that people were being caught.
He said in just four days 179 drivers were caught using their phones illegally on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Another 210 were caught out in Lucas Heights, in Sydney's south and 126 were also caught by cameras in Nowra, in the state's South Coast region.
"We just need everybody to know that it is equivalent to driving drunk at .08 if you are on a mobile phone behind the wheel of a car," Mr Constance said.
"Even if you look down and text for two seconds travelling at 60km/h you are going to have your vehicle move 33m on a roadway or in a local backstreet without paying any attention.
"When you get up into those higher speeds your car travels even further distance without any attention being paid."
During the first week the cameras checked 773,532 vehicles and 3303 drivers were caught illegally using their phones behind the wheel in various locations across the state.
However, the drivers won't cop a fine or demerit points due to a three-month grace period whereby motorists will first receive a warning letter.
This grace period will finish at the start of March 2020 and from then drivers caught by the mobile detection camera will receive a $344 fine and five demerit points.
This penalty is bumped up to $457 if motorists are caught in a school zone or 10 demerit points if they are caught during a double demerits period.
Mr Constance hit back against claims that the detection cameras were there for revenue raising.
"If people behave they won't be paying a fine. A lot of people say 'You are just doing it for revenue raising' - well that's just rubbish," he said.
"The thing about the revenue for fines, both speeding and mobile phone detection, is that the money goes into a community road safety fund to get idiots to do the right thing in the first place.
"We just want everybody to get home safe. For goodness sake people just need to go and spend $30 for $40 bucks and put a cradle in their car and away you go."
The technology uses high-definition cameras to capture images of the front seats of vehicles as they drive past.
Artificial intelligence is then used to automatically review the images and detect if a driver is on their phone.
If the automated system flags an offending driver, that image will be reviewed by a human before a penalty is issued.