Queensland’s cash-strapped government may soon have another revenue source with a mobile phone and seat-belt detection camera being trialled this week.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the state debt was on the rise and a recent prediction by an economist suggests Queensland’s debt could blow out beyond $100 billion within a few years.
The trial follows the introduction of a $1000 fine for distracted driving in February which has raked in more than $2.3 million in fines for the government.
The trial of the mobile phone detection camera will run until Christmas. The cameras will also capture people failing to wear a seatbelt.
The cameras can monitor vehicles across multi-traffic lanes.
The trial was postponed in April because of the COVID-19 outbreak and it follows a successful roll-out in NSW where just a handful of cameras snapped 21,000 drivers using handheld devices in two months.
The high-tech cameras can be installed on overpasses and bridges or on roadside trailers.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said using a mobile phone behind the wheel was as dangerous as drunk and drug driving.
He said Queensland drivers snapped during the six-month trial will not know they have been caught as not fines or warning will be issued.
“Initially, we are simply evaluating the camera’s effectiveness,” he said.
Victoria also announced on Sunday it was introducing similar technology.