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The Vehicle and Traffic Amendment (Driver Distraction and Speed Enforcement) Bill 2022 will amend the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 and Traffic Act 1925 to enable the use of cameras to detect:

  • handheld mobile device use
  • not wearing a seatbelt
  • unregistered, suspended or not permitted motor vehicle use, and
  • average speed.

The changes will not introduce any new traffic offences, but will allow existing traffic offences to be enforced using cameras. This brings Tasmania up to date with the current use of technology already operating in other Australian jurisdictions.

1What is the purpose of the changes?

The sole aim of this additional enforcement is to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes from occurring on Tasmanian roads by deterring high-risk and illegal driving behaviour.

It means the latest camera detection technology can be used to enforce these offences.

Key facts:

  • Every 1 km/h increase in average vehicle speed results in almost 5 per cent increase in fatal and serious injuries.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving can increase the risk of crashing by more than 80 per cent.
  • Wearing a properly adjusted seatbelt reduces the risk of fatal or serious injury by up to 50 per cent during a crash.
  • Unregistered vehicles are involved in 11 per cent of fatal and serious injury crashes in Tasmania.

When backed up by appropriate penalties and public education, enforcement is one of the most effective tools available for encouraging people to follow the rules and keep others safe.

If you do the right thing, these cameras won’t cost you anything.

2When will these technologies be introduced?

Final on-road testing of the new cameras will be conducted before we commence enforcement.

During this final testing period we will ensure the cameras are operating correctly and are calibrated to Tasmanian roads and environment.

Penalties will be enforced once the testing concludes.

Timeframes for the final testing and subsequent enforcement are currently being finalised.

3How will these changes impact me?

The changes will not implement any new traffic offences. They allow for existing traffic offences to be enforced by photographic detection devices.

While you may see these cameras on our roads, adding to existing enforcement activities, if you do the right thing, you won’t be impacted.

4What is a portable device offence?

Offences relating to the use of a mobile phone or other mobile device while driving remain unchanged and include:

  • operating a mobile phone
  • holding a mobile phone
  • having a mobile phone resting on your body or clothing, or
  • intentionally looking at the display of a mobile phone being operated by another person.

5What is a seatbelt offence?

Offences relating to the use of a seatbelt while driving remain unchanged and include:

  • failing to wear a properly adjusted or fastened seatbelt, or
  • failing to ensure that a passenger is retrained as required.

6What is a registration offence?

Offences relating to vehicle registration remain unchanged and include the use of a vehicle on a public street if it:

  • is unregistered
  • registration has been suspended, or
  • is not a permitted vehicle.

7What is point-to-point or average speed detection?

Point-to-point or average speed detection is where two or more cameras operate in tandem to detect the average speed of a vehicle travelling between them and determine if a speeding offence has occurred.

If a vehicle has passed between the two points faster than is possible while travelling at the speed limit, a speed offence is deemed to have occurred.

The penalty is the same as if detected speeding by a single fixed-point camera or other enforcement activity.

This technology is widely used in other Australian jurisdictions to improve driver behaviour over extended distances rather than just at single points.