‘Dystopian’ roadside structure that could cost Aussie motorists $577

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An unusual structure next to an Australian highway has baffled motorists, leaving many wondering what it is used for. The setup was spotted on Monday, with no signs indicating what it is.

After photos of the device were posted online, some social media users suspected it was hi-tech surveillance equipment, with one opponent commenting: “This is some kind of dystopian level.”

Mobile phone and seat belt detection camera next to Victorian road

An unusual device has caused confusion among Australian road users. Source: Reddit

Mystery solved

A spokesperson for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that the solar-powered camera installed on Victoria’s Nepean Highway last Wednesday is designed to detect mobile phone and seat belt violations – with fines of up to $577 and four demerit points. points.

“Too many people are seriously injured or killed on our roads as a result of distracted driving or not properly wearing seat belts,” the spokesperson said.

“Mobile phone and seat belt detection cameras have been introduced to reduce the number of people dying on our roads and encourage people to do the right thing when driving.

New technology in security crackdown

The new technology is being rolled out by the Victorian Government at a cost of $33.7 million after a three-month trial period. This showed that of the 679,438 vehicles, more than 16,000 drivers were caught illegally using a mobile phone while driving.

The Victorian Government predicts the rollout of automated mobile phone cameras will prevent 95 road deaths a year.

“Each camera trailer has two cameras and an infrared flash enabled with artificial intelligence (AI) software. The cameras capture high-resolution images at any time of day or night and in all traffic and weather conditions,” the Victorian Government said . website reads.

AI technology reviews each image and if no potential crime is detected, the image is rejected. However, if it detects a driver using a mobile device, or a driver or passenger not wearing a seat belt or wearing an incorrect seat belt, the image will be flagged for further review and will then be checked and verified by a qualified, independent officer.

Mobile phone on the driver's leg;  Driver not wearing seat beltMobile phone on the driver's leg;  Driver not wearing seat belt

Drivers can be hit with huge fines for cell phone or seat belt violations. Source: Accident Transport Committee

The images collected show the vehicle’s license plate number and two other images inside the vehicle. One is taken at a shallow, forward-facing angle to detect phone-to-the-ear and seatbelt violations, and the second is taken at a steep downward angle to detect, for example, seatbelt violations and whether drivers are using their touching their phone or resting a device on their body. , their leg.

The images may show the faces of the driver, passengers and other people, but the cameras do not use facial recognition technology.

Huge fines for phone and seat belt violations

Horrific statistics show that one in four drivers and passengers killed in car crashes each year are not wearing a seat belt, while driver distraction is also a major cause of accidents on Victorian roads.

As of Nov. 1, there were 144 cell phone and seat belt camera locations in the state. Fines of $577 and four demerit points apply to motorists caught using a portable device while driving, and a $385 fine with three demerit points applies if they or a passenger are not wearing a seat belt or are wearing one incorrectly.

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Yahoo Australia

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