Drivers not getting the message on distraction

The State’s peak motoring body has again urged road users to ignore distractions while behind the wheel or risk injuring or killing themselves, or someone else.

The warning came after the New South Wales (NSW) Government introduced tougher penalties for motorists using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

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Drivers and riders caught using devices would now be penalised five demerit points, up from four demerit points, and be fined $327.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said Queensland already had tough laws for those caught using phones, and for good reason.

“Distracted driving, including texting while driving, is one of the biggest killers on our roads,” Mr Spalding said.

“Every second your eyes are off the road the risk of a crash increases.

“No text message is worth risking your life – wait until you’ve reached your destination to check your phone.”

Mr Spalding said RACQ would watch with interest as to whether these new penalties changed driver behaviour in NSW.

“Anything which makes our roads safer is worth considering and we’re interested to see what, if any, impacts this change has in NSW.”