Riverina drivers are being slugged for hundreds of dollars after being caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
Mobile phone detection cameras were implemented across the state in late 2019, and now a year on, data has revealed the region's drivers have clocked up fines worth more than $188,000.
Experts in the field have said the harsh punishment is the price to pay for breaking the law, and hope the crackdown serves as a lesson for road users to do the right thing.
Founder of Wagga's Traffic Offenders Intervention Program Jon Morgan said the use of traffic cameras was a positive step toward reducing the road toll.
"Any technology is good technology if it means giving out that warning to slow down and get off your phone," he said.
"There will always be those who say these types of things are just revenue raisers, and I understand their point of view, but if this makes the road toll drop, then it's a good thing."
Between March 1 and August 31 this year, following a three month warning period, Riverina drivers were caught using their phones behind the wheel at a rate of 0.28 per cent, which stands above the state average of 0.23 per cent.
Mr Morgan put the differing statistics down to complacency on country roads.
"There is this perception that because you can't see a policeman always on a country road, that you're safe and can do what you want, but that's such a bad way to think and there are police out there doing a great job," he said.
"But, it is hard to take too much heed in these statistics given the situation with COVID-19, because you never know what type of impact that is having on our roads and drivers."
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The penalty for drivers found to be using a mobile phone illegally is a $349 fine, or a $464 fine in a school zone, and five demerit points, or 10 during double demerit periods.
Transport for NSW's Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation Tara McCarthy said the research spoke for itself when shedding a light on mobile phone usage behind the wheel.
"Research has found illegally using a mobile phone while driving is associated with at least a four-fold increase in the risk of having a crash in which someone is killed or seriously injured," she said.
"Texting while driving increases the crash risk even further."
Ms McCarthy said the message to road users around mobile phones was simple: "Get your hand off it".
"Those who think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk have been warned and will face consequences," she said.