Since the hand-held technology takeover of the 2000’s, distracted driving has only gotten worse. A number of near-fatal injuries and lost lives can be attributed to mobile phone use and the failure to wear a seatbelt. That is why the Queensland government has brought forward new laws, rules and penalties for such acts.
What are the new cameras?
There are two types of mobile phone and seatbelt cameras managed within the pre-existing “Camera Detected Offence Program” (the management of red-light cameras, speed cameras, etc.).
The first is a fixed camera, operating 24/7 – fitted to road signs, street lights and any other current road infrastructure.
The second mobile phone and seatbelt camera is portable – used sporadically at select locations.
Where are the new cameras located?
New cameras have been specifically implemented in high-crash zones, where the use of mobile phones or lack of seatbelts have been recorded as contributors to the crash(es). The cameras will be moved across regional, rural and urban areas across Queensland, so it is important for all drivers to assume any phone usage or failure to buckle in could be recorded and fined.
The New Rules
As of 26 July 2021, it is illegal to hold a mobile phone in your hand or have it resting on any part of your body (such as your lap) when you are driving. This also applies when you are stopped in traffic.
The New Fines
Fines can include a $1,033 fine for mobile phone use and a $413 fine for failing to wear a seatbelt (with additional fines issued in the case of any unbuckled passengers). Up to 4 demerit points can also be issued.
Importantly, if you have been issued with an infringement for using your mobile-phone whilst driving in the past 12-months, ‘double demerit points’ will apply, meaning you are liable to a $2,066 fine and 8-demerit points.