The traffic laws here in the Minnesota are getting pretty strict when it comes to distracted driving and phone usage.  There was new state law that went in to effect as of August 1st 2019, allowing Minnesota drivers to only use their cell phone through voice commands or single-touch activation. The law prohibits motorists from holding a cell phone or other wireless device while driving. Police officers are trying to enforce the laws as much as possible but it's hard to catch all the people breaking the law.  A new device in North South Whales is really making their traffic laws even more so enforced.

North South Whales drivers who threaten lives by using mobile phones behind the wheel risk being caught by unmarked cameras as new technology rolls out across the state.

However, drivers captured breaking the law will initially be spared punishment during a three-month grace period which will see them receive a warning letter only.

It follows a six-month trial which caught more than 100,000 drivers.

"It's stupid, it's dangerous, it'll kill someone - and people are not getting the message," Mr. Constance told reporters.

"Driving with a mobile phone is like driving drunk. Driving with a mobile phone is equivalent to .08 behind the wheel of a car and that's why we're now being hard and fast on this."

Mr Constance said the grace period was fair and the state government was "being kind in that regard".

"We want people to get the warning letter and change their behavior immediately, which I believe will happen," he said.

About 45 cameras were rolled out across Sydney and regional NSW on December 1st. They won't be marked by signage.

What is the penalty? At the conclusion of the warning period, drivers will be fined $344 or $457 if caught in a school zone. Drivers can legally use phone cradles and make and receive phone calls through Bluetooth, Mr Constance said.

He said images would be destroyed within an hour of them being taken if phones weren't detected via an algorithm (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer). If mobiles were present, the images would then be considered by two qualified professionals.

Regional Roads Minister Paul Toole says an estimated 135 million vehicle checks will be performed annually under the program by 2023.

North South Whales Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon, says “modeling shows the cameras could prevent 100 fatal and serious injury crashes over five years.”

I think this is absolutely crazy that they will be reviewing that many pictures, but like they said texting and driving is just as if not even more dangerous than drinking and driving. I wonder how long it will be before they implement this here. If it means people will actually put their phones down and pay more attention to the road I am all for it. The technology is out there I bet it's just a matter of time before it is in action here in Minnesota.

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