What Is Behind The Rise In Driver’s Licence Suspensions? 

Two Australian states have experienced a huge increase in the number of licence suspensions.  

It is a result of AI detection software that is now being rolled out across the country. 

On today’s The Briefing, we speak with Listnr’s investigative journalist Joey Watson on whether this is just good policy or there is more at play. 

During Watson’s investigation, he found New South Wales residents had been losing their licence at a higher rate in history, with 71 per cent in the past two years.  

While in Queensland, there was a 22 per cent increase in the same period.  

It turns out that NSW and Queensland are the only two states that have introduced mobile phone detection cameras. 

The cameras use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect someone using their phone while driving. 

The camera captures images of every driver that passes by; the AI assesses whether or not they are on their phone,”

Watson said.

The AI mobile phone detection camera is different from the speed camera, which takes a photo when someone breaches the rule, while the new mobile phone camera photographs everyone. 

To give you a sense of impact, in January of this year, the total number of fines issued for mobile phone offences was $16,811, while three years ago, around the same time we called the good old days, the number was $1,355,”

Watson said.

He said implementing new mobile phone AI cameras had a significant impact as the revenue hit 10 million dollars this January alone. 

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During Watson’s investigation, he also found that drivers using mobile phones while driving were four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Road safety is a really tricky area of policy; there is tonnes of evidence suggesting that both speeding and mobile phone use increase the overall risks of crash,”

he added.

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