Cameras to catch mobile phone use in Qld

Drivers using their phones behind the wheel will soon be caught by new cameras to be trialled next year in Queensland, a move the RACQ had been calling for, for years.

The State Government, together with Queensland Police Service, unveiled its Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2020-21 on Monday, which would deliver tougher measures for drunk and distracted drivers, targeted education campaigns and prepare Queensland’s roads for new transport technologies.

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the Club wholeheartedly supported the tougher measures to match the increased penalty for mobile phone use while driving to $1000. 

“We know driver distraction by mobile phone is one of the fastest growing problems we’re facing on our roads – we’ve become addicted to our devices and that’s a sad reality,” Mr Turner said.

“Using a phone behind the wheel has always been a difficult one to enforce, but new mobile phone detection cameras will mean drivers will be unable to hide and police will have the technology to try to combat the deadly problem.

“The cameras will also be able to capture people not wearing a seatbelt, one of the five deadliest causes of crashes.” 

Mr Turner said the new changes coincided with the Club’s “Set you phone, leave it alone” campaign which targeted distracted driving. 

“We understand motorists still need to use their phones for some functions like music and maps. But we’re asking drivers to set up their phone before they hit the road then select the Do Not Disturb function to reduce the temptation.”

The $1000 fine and new cameras would come into effect on 1 February, 2020.