Drivers cop harsh penalties for using their phone
SEVERAL Central Queensland drivers have copped a $1000 fine and four demerit points for using their phone while driving since February 1.
The Queensland Government implemented tougher penalties at the beginning of the month to help deter people from the dangerous behaviour.
The penalties increased from a $400 fine and three demerit points, to a $1000 fine and four demerit points.
Emerald Road Policing Unit Senior Constable Matt Walters said they had few offences since the new laws kicked in, although some people were still taking risks.
“We are still receiving multiple reports that some drivers are still running the risk and are using mobile phones while driving,” he said.
“The fine and loss of points alone shouldn’t be the only deterrent for drivers.
“Using a mobile phone while driving is as dangerous as drink driving and the chances of having a serious or fatal traffic crash while using a mobile phone increase significantly.”
Snr Constable Walters said Emerald Police would continue to target drivers using their phones.
Drivers can cop the penalties if a mobile phone is in their hand and being used for any reason while driving — including when stopped at traffic lights or in congested traffic – according to the Queensland Government website.
Double demerit points apply for repeat phone offences committed within one year of a previous offence.
Learner and P1 provisional drivers under 25, and their passengers, must not use hands-free, wireless headsets or a mobile phone’s loudspeaker function.
For more information, visit the Queensland Government website.