Do you use your phone and drive? This new piece of technology will make you think twice the next time you pick up to check that text or find that song stuck in your head. These sneaky little cameras are quietly being installed on Australian roads and analysing your driving behaviour. The groundbreaking new technology captures still images, video and artificial intelligence to detect whether the driver who passes beneath is talking, texting, reading or listening. From this information authorities can now tell whether you are checking your Facebook account or concentrating on the road.
It comes after a major political push in every Aussie state to clamp down on texting drivers following a horrific death toll on Australia’s roads in recent years. Driver distraction is understood to be the cause of about 16 per cent of serious crashes. Last week, a major new study presented to the Australasian Road Safety Conference revealed startling new figures which show that every 96 seconds, an Aussie driver is distracted by something other than the road aheadIt also reveals 6 per cent of these non-driving tasks captured on video resulted in near misses. Drivers braked sharply, swerved into the next lane, forgot to indicate, or failed to yield to a pedestrian. “Anything longer than a quarter to a half a second where you are travelling at speed, and you take your eyes off the road, you don’t know what’s going on. You think you do, but then suddenly something jumps out and that’s when something happens,” Professor Raphael Grzebieta, the project’s lead chief investigator, told Fairfax.
These cameras are currently being tested in NSW but are sure to make their way across Australia over time.