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Mobile phone and seatbelt camera detection trial

The Queensland Government is trialling new cameras designed to save lives by detecting:

  • people using mobile phones illegally while driving 
  • drivers and their front seat passengers not wearing seatbelts.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service are working with 2 companies to test the cameras until late 2020.

About the trial

Illegal mobile phone use and failing to wear a seatbelt cost lives and account for significant serious injuries on Queensland roads.

New camera technology is available to help detect these actions. 

Trialling this new technology to help save lives is a key action in Queensland's Road Safety Action Plan 2020–21.

The trial aims to test if cameras with Artificial Intelligence, (AI) software can detect if someone is using their mobile phone illegally, or failing to wear their seatbelt with a high degree of accuracy.


The trial started Monday, 27 July 2020 and is expected to run until the end of the year.


Testing of both fixed and portable cameras will occur as part of this trial. Camera locations will not be published. 

Portable cameras will be trialled in both urban and regional areas across Queensland. These cameras will be moved to multiple locations throughout the trial.


Fines and demerit points resulting from the trial camera detections will not be issued during the trial. However, the police will continue to enforce the laws using traditional roadside enforcement methods. 

How the cameras work

The cameras will take multiple images of vehicles in the lane of traffic that passes the camera. This will include inside the vehicle cabin, mainly the front seats and external images that include the registration plates of the vehicle.

From the images, the AI software will detect whether there is possible illegal use of a mobile phone by a driver or failure to wear a seatbelt by a driver or front seat passenger. 


People will not be identified through the images. The cameras are not designed to capture or analyse the biometric data of a person. 

Images that do not contain any illegal mobile phone use or failure to wear a seatbelt will be deleted by the system in a short timeframe.

Images will not be used for any other purpose, except to check the registration status of a vehicle. 

We are committed to protecting the privacy of drivers and passengers and we are working with the Office of the Information Commissioner to make sure the cameras comply with privacy legislation, as well as community expectations. 

Only authorised personnel involved in the trial will be able to view images to confirm the viability of the technology. All data will be securely encrypted and stored within Australia. 

The camera vendors involved in the trial are required to comply with privacy legislation to protect personal information. 

After the trial

The findings from the trial revealed that the camera technology can successfully pick up illegal mobile phone use and failure to wear a seatbelt.  

We have gone to tender to appoint a vendor to provide driver distraction and seatbelt detection technology services. 

The cameras will be rolled out in mid-2021. 

More information

To find out more about the dangers of driver distraction and failing to wear a seat belt by visiting the StreetSmarts website.

Find out more about mobile phone restrictions when driving.

Last updated
21 December 2020