Calls for cameras to keep our roads safe
SHOCKING statistics have prompted calls for mobile phone detection cameras to be installed on Central Queensland roads.
RACQ is calling for the technology to be trialled after it was revealed more than 27,000 Queensland drivers were fined for using a handheld mobile phone in the past two years.
Of those fines, 4923 were handed out across the central region, which stretches from the Sunshine Coast to north of Mackay.
RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the dangers of distraction were well known, but drivers were still putting lives at risk using their phones.
The statistics recorded between 2018 and 2019, prior to February 2020 when tough new laws which impose harsh $1000 fines for those caught on their phones were introduced.
“The mobile phone cameras were due to be rolled out in April but delayed due to COVID-19, but now that the police have returned to regular enforcement, including mobile speed cameras and RBT operations, we believe it’s time the planned trial got under way,” Ms Ritchie said.
Mackay Road Policing Unit Acting Senior Sergeant Daniel Goldburg
said locally police had noticed a drop in the number of mobile phone offences since the hefty fines were introduced.
However, the drop could be due to a number of reasons including COVID-19 impacts and restricted public movement vehicle movement.
Ms Ritchie said 576 drivers were slapped with double demerit points after wracking up two or more mobile phone offences within 12 months.
“We are hoping the risk of a hefty fine and losing four demerit points and your licence, coupled with the right enforcement from police, will change the behaviour of some motorists,” she said.
“We encourage every motorist to set their phone to Do Not Disturb before hitting the road and take responsibility for their actions beyond the wheel.”