Police-issued fines for speeding, illegal mobile phone use and not wearing a seat belt have cost Orana drivers more than $1 million in 12 months.
In the 2022/23 financial year, the Orana Mid-West Police District issued 260 fines for seat belt offences. The fines had a combined value of $95,285.
The worst month was in September when 36 fines were issued, costing drivers $13,032.
During the last financial year there were also 45 mobile phone offences to the value of $16,290. They were equally high in June and December, with seven fines issued apiece.
There are only a few reasons why mobile phone use is permitted. They include making a payment or redeeming a voucher, but the car must be stationary and either off-road or in a car park or drive-through.
It's also permitted to use a mobile phone in the car if a police officer asks to see a digital licence.
For those not on their Ls or Ps, the phone can be touched to receive or make a call, play music or turn on an aid like GPS, however the phone has to be in a cradle that's fixed to the vehicle.
The figures for illegal phone use are far lower than previous years, with the exception of 2021/22.
According to Revenue NSW, in 2016/17 there were 124 mobile phone offences detected by Orana police. They were worth just over $40,000. It was even higher in 2017/18 when there were 172 fines for mobile phone offences, worth almost $57,000.
Since then, the fines have had a steady decrease.
The same cannot be said for the number of seat belt offences which have remained fairly consistent since 2016/17.
That year there were 196 offences, followed by 253 in 2017/18 and 268 in 2018/19.
Drivers are only exempt from wearing a seat belt if they're reversing or if they're in a garbage or delivery truck that's going under 25 kilometres per hour and need to get out regularly.
The driver is also responsible for making sure each passenger is wearing a seat belt, or is in a child car seat.
But unsurprisingly, the highest number of police-issued fines is for speeding.
During the 2022/23 financial year there were 2590 speeding fines issued. All up, they cost Orana drivers almost $1 million. The exact cost was $914,184.
The highest number of speeding drivers were detected in April. There were 322 people caught speeding.
Throughout the last six years the figures have been relatively steady.
In 2016/17 the lowest number of speeding drivers were detected by police at 1392, while the worst year was in 2020/21 at 2666.
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