Fines and demerit points will be issued for offences detected by the ACT's new mobile phone detection cameras from Tuesday, February 20.
The enforcement activation date ends a three-month period in which infringing motorists received warnings in the mail for using their mobile offices while driving.
Over 18,000 Canberrans were issued with warnings during the past three months, while over 63,000 have been detected since the trial of the devices began around a year ago.
The first camera appeared in the ACT in February 2023, where it was installed on the Majura Parkway for eight weeks of calibration and commissioning.
While the monthly detection rate for the transportable and fixed cameras has gradually decreased over time as more motorists have become aware of them, the ACT government has expressed its disappointment that awareness of the risks involved has not been greater.
"Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash, with mobile phones often being the source of that distraction," the executive branch manager of Transport Canberra's strategic policy and programs Kirra Cox said.
"Canberra drivers need to make road safety a priority. Set yourself up before getting behind the wheel of a car to avoid being distracted by your mobile device while driving.
"Now is the time to change bad habits and put your phone down."
Fines start at $514 and three demerit points.
It is an offence for a driver to use a mobile device while a vehicle is moving, or stationary, such as being stopped at traffic lights. The driver cannot hold the device or operate any function of the device, including for video calling, texting, emailing, social media, web browsing or photography.
Drivers cannot have a mobile device resting on, or kept in place by, any part of their body such as their lap or leg, tucked between their leg and the seat, between their shoulder and ear, or as an item on their lap.