The Queensland Government has announced tougher penalties for drivers who use their mobile phone illegally while driving.
From 1 February 2020, the penalties for illegally using a mobile phone while driving are increasing from a $400 fine and 3 demerit points to a $1,000 fine and 4 demerit points. This is to help deter people from this dangerous behaviour.
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.
The increased penalties mean that some licence holders, like learners and P-Platers, could lose their licence from just 1 offence.
Double demerit points will still apply to all drivers for a second mobile phone offence within 12 months. This is another $1,000 fine and 8 points and could cost most people their licence.
Bicycle riders will also be fined $1,000, but no demerit points will be issued.
While the penalties are increasing, there are no changes to the current rules for mobile phone use while driving.