RACQ backs new camera laws to keep motorists safe

The State’s peak motoring body has thrown its support behind new camera legislation which would help catch dangerous drivers on their phones behind the wheel or those not wearing a seatbelt.

The Courier Mail reported the laws, set to pass Parliament this week, would pave the way for the start of the State Government trial of mobile phone detection cameras. 

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said motorists had been given a lot of warning about the dangers of using a mobile phone behind the wheel. 

“We wish we didn’t need mobile phone detection cameras on our roads but sadly some motorists aren’t getting the message,” Mr Turner said. 

“There’s no doubt drivers on their mobile phones are deadly but up until now it has been a difficult offence to enforce. 

“In 2018, in Queensland, 33 people lost their lives and more than 1300 were seriously injured in crashes where distraction was a contributing factor. 

“But they’re just the crashes where it could be proven and its likely distraction was at the root of countless others.

“We support this trial because we want Queenslanders to be safe on our roads and we’ve been calling on the State Government to set a date for its commencement.”

Mr Turner said the penalty for using your mobile phone behind the wheel increased to a $1000 fine and four demerit points on 1 February this year. 

“Frustratingly, in this case, education simply hasn’t worked, so tougher enforcement is needed,” he said. 

“Drivers will only be concerned they’ll be fined if there’s a real chance they’ll be caught and that’s exactly what these cameras will do.

“It’s also ridiculous to think in 2020 some people aren’t wearing a seatbelt when it’s the simplest way to save lives on our roads. To have cameras that will be able to capture those failing to buckle up will hopefully increase the chance of behavioural change.”