Queensland introduces new penalties for mobile phone use while driving

Photography by: Brad Gardner


Double demerit points will be handed out to those caught using their phones while driving.

Queensland introduces new penalties for mobile phone use while driving
People using a mobile phone while driving are more likely to crash than those who don’t, road safety minister Mark Bailey says

 

New penalties are now in force in Queensland for people caught using their mobile phone while driving.

The Queensland Government says offenders busted more than twice in one year using their phones will receive double demerit points and a $353 fine. Leaner drivers or those on provisional plats will lose their licence.

The previous penalty for using a mobile phone while driving was three demerit points.

Road safety minister Mark Bailey says the penalties are similar to those currently in place for other serious driving offences.

"Drivers caught committing repeat mobile phone offences within a year can expect double demerits, similar to those imposed on repeat offenders who don’t wear a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet, or who exceed the speed limit by more than 20 km/h," Bailey says.

Bailey says more than 70 per cent of Queensland motorists have admitted to using or looking at their mobile phone will driving.

He says new drivers need to be educated that using their phone while behind the wheel is unacceptable, just like drink driving.

"Drivers distracted by their phones don’t just risk being caught and penalised. Statistics show drivers who use their phone while driving are four times more likely to crash than those who don’t," Bailey says.

"Texting is especially dangerous—taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds when driving at 60km/h, means you travel blind for up to 33 metres."

Bailey says motorists need to put their phone in the glovebox, the boot or turn it off.

"Your phone can’t distract you if it’s turned off," he says.    

The introduction of the penalties coincide with new road safety messages to be played on television and radio and promoted through social over the next five weeks.

"I hope the introduction of this tougher penalty and the public education campaign will convince Queenslanders it’s not worth the risk," Bailey says.

 

The new penalties are similar to those currently in place for other serious driving offences.

Posted by Owner Driver on Monday, 31 August 2015

 

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