The Queensland Government has announced tougher penalties for drivers who use their mobile phone illegally while driving.
From 1 February 2020, the penalties for illegally using a mobile phone while driving are increasing from a $400 fine and 3 demerit points to a $1,000 fine and 4 demerit points. This is to help deter people from this dangerous behaviour.
Research shows using a mobile phone while driving can be as risky as drink driving. A driver’s response time while texting on a phone is comparable to that of a driver with a blood alcohol reading of between 0.07 and 0.10.
The increased penalties mean that some licence holders, like learners and P-Platers, could lose their licence from just 1 offence.
Double demerit points will still apply to all drivers for a second mobile phone offence within 12 months. This is another $1,000 fine and 8 points and could cost most people their licence.
Bicycle riders will also be fined $1,000, but no demerit points will be issued.
While the penalties are increasing, there are no changes to the current rules for mobile phone use while driving.
For more information on the risks of mobile phone distraction visit StreetSmarts.