Taken from the Budget Direct website
The Queensland Government has increased the penalty for using a mobile phone illegally while driving to a $1,000 fine and four demerit points
Mobile bill shock has taken on new meaning in the Sunshine State.
On 1 February 2020, the Queensland Government increased the penalty for illegally using a mobile phone while driving.
The penalty is now a head-turning $1,000 and four demerit points. (Previously, it was $400 and three demerit points.)
If you get caught twice within a 12-month period, you’ll receive double demerit points and could lose your licence. (The situation for learners and P-platers is even more precarious.)
In Queensland, handling your phone while driving — even to turn it on or off, if you’ve stopped in traffic — is illegal. The increased penalty is apparently intended to better reflect the severity of the infringement.
Research shows a driver’s response time while texting is comparable to that of a driver with a blood alcohol content of between 0.07 and 0.10.
Sneakiness will be less effective in future. Phone-detection cameras recently introduced in New South Wales are likely to be adopted by other states and territories.
Learners and P-platers
Queensland’s heavier mobile-phone penalty means a learner-driver or P-plater could have their licence suspended for just once offence.
The penalty applies to learner and P1 provisional drivers under 25 even if they’re using hands-free, wireless headsets or their mobile phone’s loudspeaker function.
Find out more about Queensland’s mobile-phone restrictions.
Heavy fines biggest deterrent: Survey
Based on a survey of 1000 Australians commissioned by Budget Direct, Queensland’s heavier penalties are likely to prove reasonably effective.
We asked survey respondents which of a handful of deterrents would be most likely to stop them from texting while driving.
The leading answer was a fine of $1,000 or more (28.1%). This was followed by peer pressure from passengers (21.6%), demerit points (18.9%), and a fine of less than $1,000 (13.6%). The balance of respondents (17.8%) said nothing would deter them.
How to stop your phone distracting you
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