Phone users avoid fine with loophole
Motorists being caught by NSW mobile phone detection cameras are using a loophole to dodge being fined or copping demerit points.
The state Labor opposition has described the loophole as a problem that's allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
NSW has generated more than $19 million in revenue from mobile detection cameras between March and June this year, according to statistics from Revenue NSW, with the cameras issuing about 43,000 fines.
Of those, some eight per cent have been linked to businesses who couldn't confirm the individual driving the vehicle.
When a company can't identify the individual driver, the government charges the business five times the original fine. Without being able to identify a driver, there are no demerit points issued.
The state opposition has claimed the NSW government has pocketed $6 million between March and June in these types of fines.
John Graham, the spokesman for Labor roads claimed the government is allowing individuals to keep using the loophole because it's generating income for NSW.
"This loophole is leaving dangerous drivers on our roads. Some of these thousands of drivers should no longer have a licence," Mr Graham said.
"There is a conspiracy of silence about this behaviour because the government needs the money."
Asked what would be done about the loophole, Transport Minister Andrews Constance told the Sydney Morning Herald: "This matter is under consideration as part of the statutory review of the Road Transport Act 2013."
Mobile phone detection cameras are not signposted in NSW. The penalty for drivers caught using their phones while driving is five demerit points and a $344 fine, or $457 in a school zone.
In the first month of their operation 12,991 fines were issued, totalling $7,429,451. More than 90 per cent of the fines issued came from the cameras and the remainder came from police officers.
Originally published as Phone users avoid fine with loophole