CHILDERS Police have welcomed the harsher penalties drivers caught texting or using their mobile phone while driving will face from September. Double demerit points will be issued for two or more mobile phone offences committed within one year, similar to current punishments for repeat seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and high-range speeding offences. Childers Police officer in charge Sergeant Geoffrey Fay said any initiative designed to improve road safety was always a positive. “I find that monetary penalty is not always a deterrent, the deduction of demerit point is always a concern of traffic offenders particularly those offenders whom display a total disregard to the road rules,” he said. “This offence is committed more than the detection rate would indicate.” Sgt Fay said offenders were well aware they were committing the offence and put their phones down when they saw marked patrol vehicles.