More than 3,000 drivers have been busted using their mobile phones while driving during the first week of the NSW government’s phone detection camera program.

The cameras, placed in undisclosed locations around the state, use AI-trained software to detect drivers using their phone.

NSW Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said that from Sunday 1 December to Saturday 7 December, 773,532 vehicle checks were made, resulting in 3,303 drivers found breaking the law.

“Around 500 drivers a day are getting pinged by these cameras doing the wrong thing,” he said.

“With double demerits starting Friday we need drivers to get the message and get off the phone, otherwise they risk killing themselves or someone innocent on our roads.”

For the first three months of the program, the government will send warning letters to offenders. Commencing March 2020, penalties of $344 and five demerit points will apply.

During periods of double demerits, using a phone while driving will result in the loss of 10 demerit points.

A standard NSW driver has 13 points on their licence.

In NSW, double demerits will apply from Friday 20 December to Wednesday 1 January which is within the warning period.

A camera pilot program that ran between January and June of this year scanned 8,500,000 vehicles and found 100,000 drivers illegally using their phones.