MOTORISTS repeatedly caught using their mobile phones while driving will face harsher penalties in a bid to discourage the deadly practice.

Nearly 20,000 motorists have been busted this financial year using their mobile phones while driving on the state's roads.

Repeat offenders will face losing six demerit points and a $354 fine.

The tough new measures will come into effect from Tuesday, September 1.

Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said on Monday more than 70% of Queensland motorists admitted to using or looking at their mobile phone while driving.

He said it was not okay to use your phone and drive - just as it was not acceptable to drink and drive.

"Statistics show drivers who use their phone while driving are four times more likely to crash than those who do not," he said.

"Texting is especially dangerous. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds when driving at 60kmh means you travel blind for up to 33 metres.

"When you get behind the wheel of a car, put your phone in the glove box, put it in the boot of the car, or simply turn it off."

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding said the initiative was overdue and motorists who continued to flout the law could find themselves catching public transport.

"I think it is a step in the right direction but the real challenge comes with enforcing it," he said.

"Mobile phone use while driving is a very dangerous activity, not only for the individual but also for other road users."

- APN NEWSDESK.


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