Legal

Joanita Wibowo

This driving habit may soon land you a $1000 fine

This driving habit may soon land you a $1000 fine

Queensland drivers who are caught peeking at their phone screen behind the wheel may soon be hit with a hefty fine.

As part of its effort to curb road deaths, the Queensland government plans to introduce a $1,000 on-the-spot fine for motorists who use mobile phones while driving – more than double the current penalty of $400.

Those caught offending for the second time may also have their licences revoked.

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the move is necessary to discourage distracted driving. “I think increasing the value of the fine to $1,000 for distracted driving and similar offences will deter this dangerous behaviour,” said Bailey.

“People are literally killing themselves and killing others because they can’t keep their hands off their phone.”

The government said it had been reviewing penalties for driving offences after 40 people died on Queensland roads in the past two months. Bailey said 38 people were killed and 1,224 hospitalised by distracted drivers in the state in 2017.

According to 9News, the new laws are likely to be introduced by the end of the year.

Should the rule be established, the fine will be the highest in Australia. The same offence currently attracts a fine of $534 in South Australia, $484 in Victoria, $470 in the ACT, $337 in NSW, $250 in the NT, $400 in Western Australia and $326 in Tasmania.