Queensland, Australia: The State Government has announced it will double the demerit penalty for motorists who use handheld devices, costing repeat offenders six demerit points and a $340 fine.

RACQ Executive General Manager Advocacy Paul Turner said the new laws were part of a raft of changes, developed in consultation with RACQ during the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum, to help reduce Queensland’s road toll.

“It’s essential that we get cut through on the issue of driver distraction, particularly mobile phone use while driving,” Mr Turner said.

“It’s important the fine hasn’t increased so the Government can’t be accused of revenue raising. This is about road safety.

“Distracted driving, particularly talking or texting on a mobile, is fast becoming the number one in the Fatal Five for killing Queenslanders.

“While punishment as a deterrent is important, it is pointless without appropriate enforcement. Double demerits must be matched by an increase in police enforcement of the law.”

RACQ also welcomed news by the State Government to implement:

  • A television and social media campaign about motorcycle safety, and motorcycle licensing system reform
  • A youth road safety innovation challenge to engage with 16-24 year olds
  • Expansion of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology in police vehicles
  • Increased police campaigns targeting drug driving across the State