$15k a day: Drivers won’t hang up on phones

 

QUEENSLAND motorists caught on their phones while driving have forked out more than $15,000 a day since new penalties were introduced this year.

Figures obtained from Transport and Main Roads show 1295 fines for phone use while driving were issued from February to April 23.

Australia's toughest mobile phone driving laws were introduced in Queensland on February 1.

The new penalties saw on-the-spot fines increase from $400 to $1000 while demerit points rose from three to four.

Distracted drivers fork out $1.3m in fines.
Distracted drivers fork out $1.3m in fines.

 

The number of infringements issued since the changes equates to $1.3 million in fine revenue or 16 fines a day.

However, given a 30 per cent decrease in cars on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions it's likely more fines were handed out daily in February and early March.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was disappointing some drivers were flouting the "toughest penalties in the country".

"It's disappointing to see that 1,295 Queenslanders have put lives at risk, and in turn have been fined $1000 for their dangerous actions - I hope that this fine sends a strong message to them," he said.

"Those drivers who have copped a fine will also now stand to lose their licence if they're caught doing it again over the next 12 months.

"Using your phone while driving is like drunk driving. It's got to stop."

Despite introducing the tougher penalties just months ago Mr Bailey has ruled out more action.

"We'll definitely be continuing to monitor these and see what else we can do to stamp out this type of behaviour," he said.

 

Not impressed: Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP
Not impressed: Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP

 

"That includes looking at technological solutions and a trial of mobile phone detection cameras," he said.

The trial has been pushed back to later this year because there is less traffic on the road which could skew the results.

Phones aren't the only issue causing grief on Queensland roads. Despite the nosedive in the amount of traffic, police have reported a disturbing increase in speeding.

In response to a 26 per cent spike in lead foot motorists, police announced they would be reintroducing mobile speed cameras.

Originally published as $15k a day: Drivers won't hang up on phones


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