‘Unacceptable’: New cameras catch 1000 dangerous drivers out
"DANGEROUS " motorists are steering with their knees and others are letting go of the wheel completely just to use their phones while driving, images from Queensland's new road cameras have revealed.
The Mobile phone detection cameras have caught more than 1000 phone-using motorists in their first two weeks of use - that's more than 70 each day.
Footage from the cameras shows drivers releasing the wheel to text and drive.
Another motorist was caught steering with their knees while on the phone - just "moments" after the cameras were installed on July 27.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey called the footage "shocking" and "unacceptable".
"I've said it before, and with road safety in full focus this week, I'll say it again: using you phone while driving is as dangerous as drink driving - it needs to stop," Mr Bailey said.
"In the last two years we've lost more than 50 Queenslanders because people couldn't put their phone down while driving. I don't want to see that happen anymore.
"The images … prove how serious a problem this is and why our strong measures are needed."
More than 3,200 motorists have been fined for using their phones while driving - which brings a penalty of $1,000 and 4 points, after the offence was increase in February.
Motorists caught by the cameras during the trial have not been fined, however that leniency will end in December.
Mr Bailey said once the cameras were made permanent photographed drivers will hit with $1,000 and four demerit points.
RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said footage from the cameras was a "wake-up" call for Queenslanders during Road Safety week.
"It only takes a moment's inattention to have a crash. There's no text message, phone call, status update that is worth your life," he said.
"The only safe way to use a mobile phone in the car is to switch it to Do Not Disturb before you hit the road and leave it well alone."
Originally published as 'Unacceptable': New cameras catch 1000 dangerous drivers out