Australia’s Victoria Government has shared plans to implement a distracted driving technology to identify and fine drivers using mobile phones while driving.

Equipped with an artificial intelligence-enabled camera system, the new technology is claimed to capture high-resolution images of passing vehicles in all weather and traffic conditions.

The technology was successfully trialled on roads over three months using two portable cameras across metropolitan and regional locations.

During the trial, the technology assessed 679,438 vehicles and found that one in 42 drivers had illegally used a mobile phone behind the wheel.

The technology also identified drivers without seat belts as well as other dangerous behaviours, including driving without hands on the wheel or with pets on laps.

The trial was conducted while Victoria was under stage four lockdown restrictions.

The government will invest A$33.7m ($25.6m) to develop and implement the use of this technology on Victorian roads and introduce new legislation to fine offenders.

Investment in the new technology is part of the government’s new Road Safety Strategy to halve deaths and significantly reduce injuries by 2030, ultimately aiming for Victoria to have zero road deaths by 2050.

Victoria acting Police and Emergency Services Minister Danny Pearson said: “Using your phone while driving is unbelievably dangerous, and this trial has showed just how common it is on Victoria roads.”

“It’s unacceptable that so many Victorians are putting others’ lives at risk, which is why we’re investing $33m to install this new distracted driver technology that can save up to 95 lives a year.”

“It’s up to all of us to do the right thing and put our phones away while driving to help keep our roads safe.”

According to research from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), the technology will be able to prevent 95 casualty crashes a year.

The government plans to implement the new technology on the Victorian roads by 2023 after further stakeholder consultation, technology testing and demonstrations, as well as a public awareness campaign.

Last month, the government announced that works to build safer and reliable roads across the South West of the state had begun.

The works are part of a A$272m ($207m) package to improve routes across the region, included in the current state budget.