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Tougher fines for Qld drivers using phones


Drivers caught using a phone illegally in Queensland will be slugged with a $1000 fine from Saturday.

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The fine has jumped from $400.

Offenders caught a second time could lose their licence altogether as part of the crackdown on distracted drivers.

For the first offence, drivers will receive four demerit points for illegal phone use.

This means P-platers and learners could lose their licence on the first offence.

Double demerit points apply for a second mobile phone offence within a year.

The RACQ recommends drivers switch their phones to a “do not disturb mode” every time they get in a car.

“It’s simple – using your phone behind the wheel means you’re putting yourself and others in danger and it’s simply selfish,” RACQ head of technical and safety policy Steve Spalding said.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey reminded drivers that sending a text or checking social media while driving was unacceptable.

“It’s a deadly habit that needs to stop,” Bailey said.

Bicycle riders will also be fined $1000 under the new law, but no demerit points will be issued.

Drivers are not allowed to:

* Hold a phone in a hand next to or near their ear

* Write, send or read a text message

* Turn a phone on or off

* Operate any function on a phone.

Learner and P1 provisional drivers under 25 are not allowed to use a hands-free, wireless headset or a phone’s loudspeaker function.


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