Data released by the Department of Transport and Main Roads revealed the alarming number of Queenslanders detected in the first five weeks of new mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras.
RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said 9,937 warning letters were issued to drivers for illegal mobile phone use, while 1,689 warnings were sent to people for not wearing seatbelts.
“There is no excuse for such dangerous behaviour behind the wheel,” Ms Hunter said.
“Of those caught with their phone, more than 500 were repeat offenders. That means in just one month all those drivers would have received double demerits, thousands of dollars in fines and possibly lost their licence.
“More shockingly, one person was caught with their mobile phone 13 times, which, had there not been a grace period, could have seen them hit with thousands of dollars’ worth of fines and a lengthy licence suspension.
“If the risk of injuring or killing someone by disobeying these basic road rules isn’t enough to make drivers act safely, then hefty fines and the loss of a licence should be a wakeup call.”
Ms Hunter said the grace period would run for three months until 31 October.
“From 1 November if you are captured by the cameras not wearing a seatbelt or on your phone you will face the consequences,” she said.
“The new rules also apply to having a phone on your lap or tucked into a seatbelt – so avoid temptation altogether and put your phone out of reach or use a cradle.”