Queensland Police are cracking down on drivers using their mobile phones by introducing tougher penalties on offenders.
Those caught using their phone behind the wheel more than twice in a year will be slapped with double demerit points and a $353 fine.
Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Dale Pointon reminded motorists that any use of a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle is considered an offence.
“That includes whether you’re stopped at traffic lights or not properly parked,” Mr Pointon said.
Likening phone usage to drink driving, Mr Pointon believes the two are every bit as dangerous as each other.
“A lot of people are doing it and they don’t think it is serious so it’s important that they know it is.”
RACQ spokesperson Anna Hilton highlighted the severity of the issue, saying that phone use today is where drink driving was 20 years ago.
“20 years ago drink driving was more socially acceptable and it has slowly become completely unacceptable, and thats the same issue we have with using your phone and driving today,” Ms Hilton said.
“It’s a habit that people are into and they need to get out of it.”
If you cannot refrain yourself from ignoring a message or declining a call, Ms Hilton has devised a strategy for you to adopt.
“Before you get in the car turn off your phone, put it in the boot, or put it in the glove box so that it is completely out of reach,” she said.
As the government continues to crack down on road safety, Mr Pointon encourages motorists to dob in those who are committing offences.
“Everybody has a responsibility to look at road policing so we expect that peer pressure from everyone,” Mr Pointon said.
“You can drive down the road and do everything right and then be the victim of someone else’s inconsiderate actions so we don’t want that to happen.”