By Juliano Oliveira
Starting today, cameras directed at detecting drivers using phones or without a seatbelt will operate on urban and regional Queensland’s roads.
Drivers may expect a three-month grace period to adjust to the new cameras. Those motorists caught using their phones between 26 July and 31 October will receive a notification that they have been seen, but they will not be fined.
According to Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, from 1 November, all bets are off.
“Drivers caught on camera will receive a $1033 fine, and four demerit points for mobile phone offences and a $413 fine and three demerit points for each vehicle occupant detected not wearing a seatbelt.”
“Using a mobile phone while driving has the same impact as getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol reading between 0.07 and 0.10.”
Mr Bailey said that some cameras would be mobile, and we won’t be telling people where they are either.
“Drivers should expect to be caught anywhere, anytime, whether they’re driving in the city or on a regional highway.”
Already in 2021, more than 150 people have lost their lives on Queensland’s roads.
“The numbers are shocking, particularly when you consider that for every life lost, another 27 people are treated in hospital. These deaths and injuries have a shattering impact on communities across the state.”
A spokesperson from the RACQ, Renee Smith, says the club welcomes the new cameras to improve road safety in Queensland.
“We know on average around 29 people are killed and more than a thousand others are seriously injured every year on Queensland roads as a result of crashes where driver distraction played a part,” Ms Smith said.
“More detailed rules around mobile phone use by drivers, along with greater enforcement of the road rules through these first-of-a-kind cameras, will help to reduce driver distraction and improve road safety in Queensland.”