Lack of enforcement in camera trial makes it 'useless'

Source: 1News

Motorsport legend and road safety advocate Greg Murphy says the announcement of a six-month safety camera trial in Auckland is "unnecessary and useless" due to the absence of fines or warnings for rule breakers.

The trial at three unknown locations in the region began today and hopes to help Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) better understand distracted driving. It says the scale of drivers using phones while behind the wheel and not wearing seat belts is mostly anecdotal.

However, drivers snapped breaking the rules won't be fined or given demerit points. NZTA says the information gathered could be used to shape further rules and regulations.

READ MORE: Cameras to snap drivers' mobile phone, seat belt use

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is normally $150, while using one's mobile phone while driving usually results in a $150 fine and 20 demerit points.

Murphy told Breakfast the idea and technology was great, but the lack of enforcement for rule breakers means the trial is an "unnecessary and useless announcement".

He felt the NZTA should not have told people it was doing the trial and rather should "just get cracking".

He added he wasn't sure why the trial needed to happen in the first place as distracted driving was a problem authorities already know exists.

"It's a little bit ridiculous in that respect."

Murphy said it was "mind-blowing" people still weren't wearing their seat belt and remarked "everyone knows you shouldn't use your phone".

"If you just go and stand on any street corner anywhere in New Zealand, particularly around Auckland, you will see multiple people using their phones while driving within a very short period of time."

He said there was "no real incentive" for people to change their poor driving habits without fines.

"We've got to harden up and people need to be deterred and that's not happening at the moment."