“People are killing themselves”: The tough new crackdown on drivers using phones

Queensland motorists caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel are set to face some of the harshest penalties in the world.

The fine for using a phone is set to be increased from $400 to a massive $1000.

Drivers caught a second time face losing their licence as well.


The new measures which are being put forward by Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, follow a spate of serious accidents across the State.

40 people have been killed on Queensland roads in the last two months alone.

Mr Bailey says they need to act to stop the problem of drivers being distracted.

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

Recently a young Sydney driver was killed in a horrific head-on crash after taking a snapchat of her passenger in the back seat.

The Premier has backed the move saying that doing nothing is not an option

“Fatal crashes from mobile phone use just horrify me,” Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“The dreadful consequences of these needless tragedies impact everyone. Not only the victims but their families and friends are left devastated too.

“Looking at your phone while driving or sending a quick text behind the wheel is something sadly the majority of drivers will own up to having done.

“Everyone knows it’s dangerous but it’s too easy for people to do it.”

The proposed new laws come ahead of a Driver Distraction National Summit starting in Brisbane tomorrow with Mr Bailey saying they want the issue on the national agenda.

The State Government has also been talking to car makers and tech companies about introducing technology that could block mobile phones in cars.

Mr Bailey has likened the crackdown on mobile phone use to the introduction of random breath testing.

“While some complained at the time, these reforms saved thousands of lives, with the road toll falling from 638 in 1973 to 245 last year,” Mr Bailey said.

“I think increasing the value of the fine to $1000 for distracted driving and similar offences will deter this dangerous behaviour.”

The new penalties for mobile phone use are expected to be in place before Christmas.