New cameras can see if you’re using your phone whilst driving
That’s right, as of Tuesday, October 1; the police started using special speed cameras which can see whether you are using your phone whilst behind the wheel.
Put your telephone away
The new cameras are able to register via the windscreen whether drivers are holding a mobile, tablet or navigation system in their hands. If so, the camera takes a picture of the driver and the number plate. A police agent then assesses the images and if the driver has indeed committed an offence, they are fined 240 euros.
The fines are handed out according to the number plate, not facial recognition. So, if you get a fine and someone else was driving, you’ll have to appeal it and prove you weren’t behind the wheel. At the moment, only two of these cameras are in use, one for motorways and one in the Utrecht region.
Trial is over
The police started trialling these cameras in March 2018, but the trial is now over and the cameras are in use. The current cameras focus on people holding their phones, but new ones are also being developed to catch those who use their phones on their laps whilst driving.
The cameras are only allowed to be used for specific purposes, namely catching people using their phones whilst driving, not to locate suspects and criminals, for example. In 2018, more than 80.000 fines were given out for driving whilst on the phone.