Hundreds caught with mobile phones on first day of roll out

RACQ has expressed serious concern after 417 drivers were caught on their mobile phones or not wearing a seatbelt by covert cameras on their first day of operation in Queensland.
Phone on lap while driving
Image: The Courier Mail

The Courier Mail reported authorities had issued 366 warning notices last Monday to drivers snapped using their mobile phones behind the wheel, as well as 51 warning letters to those not wearing a seatbelt.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the figures were not only concerning but very disappointing considering the fair warning drivers were given in the lead up to the cameras being switched on.  

“The rules have never been clearer, put your phone away while driving. Distraction is one of the leading causes of fatalities on our roads and it beggars belief hundreds of drivers still gambled with lives,” Ms Smith said. 

“We’ve been wearing seatbelts since the seventies – it’s also appalling dozens of drivers are getting behind the wheel without taking this basic safety step.”

Ms Smith said the cameras were officially switched on from 26 July across Queensland but drivers would be spared fines over the next few months. 

“If you’re caught by these cameras you’ll receive a warning letter for now. But anyone breaking the law from 1 November will be fined $1,033 and receive four demerit points, double demerits if caught twice in 12 months,” she said. 

“We’re also reminding drivers the law has changed. Motorists caught resting the device on any part of their body, such as on their lap is no longer allowed.

“You can only use your phone in an approved cradle, while paying for goods and services or for showing documents.

“With 166 people killed on our roads already this year, it’s time all Queenslanders got the basics right to save lives. Set your phone, leave it alone and buckle up.” 

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