QLD introduces crippling penalties for illegal phone use

As of 1 February, tough new punishments will be dealt to offending drivers of passenger cars and commercial vehicles operators who are caught using a mobile phone while driving.

The Queensland Government announced it would increase the fine from $400 to $1000 as it looks to stamp out dangerous illegal mobile phone use on the roads with the demerit points deducted increased from three to four demerit points.

“This is to help deter people from this dangerous behaviour,” the Queensland Government said in a media statement.

According to the Queensland Government, 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,” it said.

Increased penalties could result in some licence holders, like learners and P-Platers, losing their licence from the first offence.

Double demerit points will still apply to all drivers for a second mobile phone offence within 12 months.

This will see another $1,000 fine issued costing an additional eight points, which would see many in the transport industry lose their licence.

While the penalties are increasing, there are no changes to the current rules for mobile phone use while driving.

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