People texting and driving could now be caught out as mobile detection cameras are rolled out across New South Wales this weekend. Cameras will target illegal mobile phone use at 45 locations across the state from December 1 in an attempt to reduce road fatalities. A warning letter will be issued to guilty drivers in the first three months, but anyone caught after that will be hit with a $344 fine and five demerit points. Image: Getty
Drivers and cyclists in Queensland caught using their phone behind the wheel will be hit with a massive on the spot fine from Saturday.
Second time offenders will face having their licence taken away and being hit with double demerit points.
From February 1 the Queensland government is increasing its penalties for using a mobile phone and driving, from $400 to $1000.
The demerits issued to drivers caught using their phones is also increasing from three to four points.
The move comes as the government works to try and deter “dangerous behaviour”, according to a statement.
The government said drivers using their phones were inhibited in a similar way to drivers with a blood alcohol reading of between 0.07 and 0.10.
From Saturday some drivers, including learners and P-platers, caught using their phones while driving will lose their licence on the spot as well as being fined.
If you’re caught riding a bike and using a mobile phone, you will also be fined $1000.
However you won’t be issued demerit points because bicycle riders don’t have to carry a licence.
Renee Smith from the RACQ said education had failed and a “harsh deterrent” was needed to change the habits of bad drivers.
“It’s always been difficult to catch people out on their phones, but these new cameras will
make it very tough for motorists doing the wrong thing to hide,” she said.
“Enforcement is critical; tougher penalties will only work if motorists think there is a good
chance they will be caught.”
The Queensland Government said while penalties were increasing, the rules around using a phone and driving hadn’t changed.