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Australia Motorists fined more than $850k under new mobile phone penalties in Queensland in first six weeks

01:45  18 march  2020
01:45  18 march  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The fine is more than double the current penalty of 0. Transport minister Mark Bailey says Queensland will also trial cameras already in use in NSW that are specifically designed to detect mobile phone use on the roads. "They are the toughest laws in Australia

Queensland police have already conducted more than 1 , 850 random checks. 'There are penalties in place for people who don't respect what we've done,' Ms Berejiklian said. NT - $ 1 ,256 fine or six month's jail. Northern Territory Police have no involvement in compliance checks for self-isolation.

a woman in a car talking on a cell phone: Police say the new penalties reflect the danger posed by using a mobile phone while driving. (ABC News: Kym Agius) © Provided by ABC NEWS Police say the new penalties reflect the danger posed by using a mobile phone while driving. (ABC News: Kym Agius) Queensland police have issued $853,000 worth of fines to drivers since tough new penalties for mobile phone use came into effect.

In just six weeks, police have reportedly hit 853 drivers with four demerit points each and $1,000 fines.

That is the number of penalties police have officially reported from the start of February — when the new penalties came in — to March 13, although the number could change as more reports are collated and drivers attempt to dispute charges.

Senior Sergeant Ian Crang has been a police officer for more than 30 years and is the officer in charge of the Road Policing Taskforce.

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New Government figures reveal that more than 500,000 British motorists are still using their mobile phones while driving, despite the devices being to blame for nearly Drivers aged under 30 are the biggest culprits with more than one in 20 (5.2 per cent) being caught flouting the law, the study found.

He said the new penalties reflected the danger posed by using a mobile phone while driving.

"It has caused numerous injuries and deaths over the years by people being distracted and using mobile phones," Senior Sergeant Ian Crang said.

"If you're distracted by that mobile phone, you're going to cause accidents [and] cause injuries to yourself and to other people."

Like closing your eyes while driving

The general manager for Safety and Regulation at the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Andrew Mahon, said using a mobile phone while driving was extremely dangerous.

"More than 30 people die on our roads every year due to driver distraction, and 1,300 on average are put in hospital with serious injuries," he said.

"If you look at a text message for two seconds at 60 kilometres per hour, you travel 33 metres blind.

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Motorists using a phone while driving will receive 6 points on their licence and a £200 fine . Motorists caught using their mobile twice or accruing 12 points on their licence will face About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week from 23 to 29 January this

Under the new rules motorists could be fined more money and face higher penalty points. It has been illegal to use your mobile phone while driving since December 2003, but stricter new laws Motorists can have their licence revoked if they rack up six points in their first two years of driver

"Imagine closing your eyes for two seconds while you're driving behind the wheel and the impact that could potentially have if something goes wrong in front of you."

There are also fines for reading the newspaper, changing clothes and other dangerous tasks while driving.

Senior Sergeant Crang said people had been busted changing clothes while driving, putting on makeup, and performing other tasks that distract from driving.

"People have been known to read while travelling on the motorways — that could be reading iPads, reading the paper, reading books, [or] people eating while they're driving," he said.

Anything that distracted the driver from controlling the car or concentrating could also attract hefty fines.

"We see other types of behaviour on the road that are not acceptable — that could be trying to eat a burger and not having proper control of the vehicle while you're driving," Mr Mahon said.

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First conviction: a fine of 5, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee). a fine of up to $ 1 ,000 if a summons is received or if While most distracted driving consequences in IL include penalty fees of between 0 and 0, punishments may be much more severe depending

Despite harsh new driving fines , hundreds of UK motorists are still missing the message when it comes to using a mobile phone behind the wheel The penalty point endorsements spiralled from three to six points. But despite these tougher new deterrents, one driver is caught using a mobile

"It might seem harmless, but it can be a dangerous activity.

"If you don't have proper control of the vehicle, there's a $311 on-the-spot penalty for that.

"If you're driving with undue care and attention, it's a $533 fine on the spot."

That can be anything deemed to distract the driver from the main task of driving the car.

Police want attitude change to phones

Senior Sergeant Crang said it was disappointing the 853 people fined had not got the message the new penalties were designed to send.

"I'm hoping that the increase in fines and the increase in penalty points is showing people how serious the Government and the Queensland Police Service are about road safety," he said.

In response to potential criticism that the fines were "revenue-raising", Senior Sergeant Crang said the penalties should be a deterrent to people considering using their phone behind the wheel.

"It is a very serious offence and it can cause a great deal of harm to you, your friends, and your family," he said.

When Senior Sergeant Crang joined the police force, mobile phones were not an issue. Now he wants people to forget they have one.

"I'd like to see people forget their mobile phones when they the get into a car," Senior Sergeant Crang said.

"Simply put [mobile phones] down, forget about them — if you need to use your mobile phone any stage — pull over, stop."

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