In early February, Queensland introduced harsh new mobile phone use penalties for misbehaving motorists. Since then, Queensland police have issued $853,000 worth of fines to drivers caught using their phone.
You can now expect a $1,000 on-the-spot fine and four demerit points (previously it was $400 and three demerit points). And if you’re caught twice or more within a 12-month period? Hold onto your teeth, because you’ll be hit with double demerit points, meaning if you’re a learner or P-plater, you could potentially lose your licence.
So that means no holding your phone in your hand, even just to turn it on or off, no taking a quick ‘snap’ to msg yr m8 that ur l8, or using the gps map mid-journey – if you touch your phone while driving, you’re breaking the law.
Why are they cracking down so hard on phones?
While you might think you have the one-handed phone operation down to second-nature, 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 legal BAC limit in Queensland is 0.05, which gives you something to think about.
Every time you take your eyes off the road, even if it’s “just two seconds”, you increase your risk of having a serious crash that could cause irreparable harm to yourself, your loved ones, or strangers.
How will anyone know?
If you’re thinking no one will ever know if you do a sneaky text while behind the wheel, think again. In addition to the increased penalties, Queensland is introducing new mobile phone detection cameras to help capture illegal phone use on our roads. The cameras will also be able to capture people not wearing a seatbelt.
So, don’t be a fool and risk getting that scary note in the mail that says… “We know what you did…
“Here’s your bill.”
Let go of your precious
Studies show the negative impact mobile phone use has on our roads, so hopefully tougher penalties and increased enforcement and awareness can stop distracted drivers in their track.
Learn to let go of your precious second brain and focus your undivided attention on the road. If you need to use your phone, that is, you really need to use it – pull over and stop your engine. That’s the safest (and legal) way.
Been in a prang and need some advice? You can book a free case review with our motor vehicle accident lawyers. Straight-up, honest advice – no obligations.