Queenslanders hit hard for using mobile phones while driving

Almost 220 motorists have been fined under Queensland’s tough new penalties.

More than 200 Queensland motorists have been fined $1000 each and lost four demerit points since Queensland’s mobile phone penalties were increased on 1 February.

In the first six days of enforcement, 218 drivers were busted – totalling $218,000 in fines.

RACQ Manager Motoring Advice Joel Tucker said the Club supported the State Government’s crackdown on inattentive motorists.

“There is no point having a big penalty but not enforcing the rule,” Mr Tucker said.

“These stats indicate that the rules are being enforced and if people do the wrong thing, they can be caught.”

Mr Tucker said in some cases motorists’ priorities had shifted from getting to their destination safely to keeping up-to-date socially.

“Queenslanders need to get in the habit of setting their phone before driving and then leaving it alone when they are on the road,” Mr Tucker said.

“Whether it’s music or navigation, set everything up before you start driving and, once you reach your destination, you can catch up on your messages and social media.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he had no sympathy for those who have been caught and fined.

“I’ve got no doubt the fines will shock them,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s easy to send a text or have a quick scan of social media when you’re driving, but that ‘like’ is not worth your life or the life of someone else.”

Mr Bailey said motorists stood to lose their licences if they were caught again in the next 12 months.

“Drivers who fail to change their dangerous behaviour will pay for it,” Mr Bailey said.

“Using your phone while driving is like drunk driving. It’s got to stop.

“Thirty-three people died on Queensland roads in 2018 because of distracted driving and that number is likely higher because it can be hard to prove distraction as a cause after a crash.”

For a step-by-step guide on how to set your phone to do not disturb, watch the video below.