Drivers flout phone rules
POLICE say one in every 20 Townsville motorists illegally use their mobile phone while driving and it’s only a matter of time before they are caught.
Townsville traffic branch officerin-charge Senior-Sergeant Tony Goddard said this statistic was getting worse.
He said nine drivers were pulled over for making mobile phone calls and texting on Monday during a routine patrol by their branch.
In total, 38 tickets were issued to drivers on Townsville’s main roads and suburban streets for various traffic offences between 9am and 4pm on Monday.
There were nine drivers caught speeding and seven pulled over for making illegal U-turns. Some motorists were stopped doing almost 30km/ h over the speed limit.
A further five tickets were issued for disobeying various road signs and three tickets were handed out for failure to wear seat belts.
These offences included some road users ignoring stop signs.
‘‘ There were an unusually large number of traffic offences during a f i v e - hour p e r i o d , ’ ’ Snr-Sgt Goddard said. ‘‘ People are getting careless. ‘‘ They get forgetful on the roads and need to be reminded.
‘ ‘ Especially i n t his weather where there are a larger number of crashes, the chances of accidents rise if people don’t obey the rules.’’
Snr-Sgt Goddard said his biggest concern was the high number of road users caught with their phones while driving.
He said this technology was distracting for drivers. ‘‘ The fine is $ 300 and they lose three demerit points,’’ Snr-Sgt Goddard said.
‘‘ We pull them over after we observe them doing it.
‘‘ It’s also illegal for bicycle riders to use a mobile and we catch them doing this from time to time.
‘‘ They don’t lose any demerit points on the bicycle but there is a $ 300 fine.’’
Snr-Sgt Goddard said apart from the large number of tickets issued on Monday, motorists had been driving carefully during the wet weather. He said it was important people drove slowly to avoid potholes around the city.
U-turn offences carry a threedemerit point penalty, with fines ranging from $ 80 up to $ 300 depending on the offence.
Not wearing a seat belt carries a $ 225 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
Disobeying stop or give-way signs will result in a $ 300 fine and the loss of three demerit points.