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Federal Government plans to use ANPR cameras to stamp out mobile phone use while driving

The Federal Government intends to use ANPR camera technology to track down motorists that are flouting the rules banning mobile phone use while driving. If the cameras spot a motorist using their mobile while at the wheel of a vehicle, the images will be forwarded to the police that will verify them. If they are found to have broken the law banning the use of mobile phones (with the exception of hands-free sets) they will be issued with the relevant fine. 

The use of ANPR cameras in this way is part of a wider road safety plan the aim of which is to cut the number of traffic deaths from an average of 2 a day now to 0 by 2050. 

An estimated 30% of motorists use their mobile phone while driving. Mobile phone use while driving poses a serious threat to road safety and as such is illegal. In order to catch more motorists that are flouting the ban and to discourage them from using their mobile while driving in the first place APNR cameras like those already used to catch drivers that are speeding will soon be used to help stamp out the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. 

It is hoped that ANPR cameras will be used in this way from 2022 with a number of pilot projects already planned for next year.

In addition to the measure to tackle mobile phone use when driving the road safety plan also covers measures to deal more severely with repeat offenders, drinking and driving and safety on level crossings. The Federal Government has drafted a total of 32 measures intended to promote road safety and reduce the number of fatalities on the country’s roads. The ultimate aim is 0 traffic deaths by 2050.

Under the plan checks will be carried out on a greater number of motorists with one in three drivers facing a speed trap or other check at least once a year. The so-called “tolerance margin” for those caught speeding whereby those just a few km/h over the speed limit are not fined will be scrapped. 

The level of fine imposed on repeat offenders will increase each time they are caught committing the same traffic offence. Currently this is not the case with motoring offences punishable by an on the spot fine.

The plan in its entirety should be in force by 2025. In addition to its road safety plan the Federal Government is working together with the Flemish, Brussels and Walloon authorities on an Inter-Federal Road Safety Plan that should be ready by the end of this month. 

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