Page 4138 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question, and note his real commitment to road safety in Canberra. Members will be aware that I introduced the Roads Safety Legislation Amendment Bill to the Legislative Assembly last week. This bill targets dangerous driving, both by increasing penalties for certain dangerous driving offences, but also by providing practical tools for our police to take dangerous drivers’ vehicles off the road, and take people off the road, through immediate driver licence suspensions.

I am also pleased to inform the Assembly that the ACT government has signed contracts to install mobile phone detection cameras on Canberra’s roads next year to reduce driver distraction, which is another hazard on ACT roads. We hope that this will make it safer for all Canberrans. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash, with mobile phones too often being the source of that distraction.

These new cameras will operate day and night in all weather conditions, and will help ensure that Canberrans understand that at any time, anywhere, when you take your eyes off the road to use a mobile phone while driving, not only are you risking your own life and the lives of other road users, but you could also get an infringement notice in the mail.

We will not be issuing those infringement notices until around October 2023. Ahead of that time we will be rolling out an education campaign across TV, digital radio and out-of-home advertising. We will initially be issuing warnings to people. We have seen the dramatic change in behaviour that has occurred with the roll-out of these cameras in other states like New South Wales, and we expect the same to happen here in the ACT.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, where will the new mobile detection cameras be located in Canberra?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. They could be anywhere at any time, because we have mobile cameras. The locations have been informed based on advice by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide on optimal locations for maximum road safety benefits of fixed and transportable cameras.

This took into consideration a review of ACT crash data and other data sources to identify locations with a high prevalence of crashes or links to distraction, and consultations with key stakeholders to identify locations where vulnerable road users are at high risk and mobile phone use has been established, and enforcement using existing police resources has been difficult.

There are two fixed cameras, and I can give the locations for those. They are located along Hindmarsh Drive near the Monaro Highway overpass, and Gungahlin Drive near the Barton Highway overpass. But there are mobile cameras that will be installed from next year around the capital. They will be moving around to various locations to help reduce the risk of driver distraction in the territory.

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