Dis­tracted drivers ring up re­peat of­fences

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JACK MCKAY

MORE than 2000 Queens­lan­ders are re­peat of­fend­ers when it comes to flout­ing mo­bile phone laws.

Fig­ures ob­tained by The Sun­day Mail re­veal that 55,657 mo­torists have been slapped with mo­bile phone in­fringe­ment no­tices since 2015, with an alarm­ing 2051 nabbed more than once.

This in­cluded 107 drivers who were caught three times within the three-year pe­riod and an­other nine who flouted the law on four oc­ca­sions.

It fol­lows a plea in last week’s Sun­day Mail by fed-up po­lice for dis­tracted drivers to lock their phones in the boot.

Su­per­in­ten­dent David John­son of the Road Polic­ing Com­mand said he was dis­ap­pointed with the be­hav­iour of drivers.

“It’s a con­scious choice to pick up that phone,” he said.

“Re­gard­less of the speed they’re trav­el­ling at, they’re not pay­ing at­ten­tion to what’s in front of them or hap­pen­ing on the road around them.

“And they’re putting their lives, but equally as im­por­tant ev­ery other life on the road at risk when they do it.”

Overall, the num­ber of of­fend­ing mo­bile phone-us­ing mo­torists has de­clined by about 27 per cent since 2015.

But Trans­port Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley said crashes caused by driver dis­trac­tion were on the in­crease and warned of steeper penal­ties for re­peat of­fend­ers.

“Drivers can be fined $378 and have three de­merit points recorded if a mo­bile phone is in their hand and be­ing used while driv­ing,” he said.

“If they are caught again within a year they will re­ceive dou­ble de­merit points.”

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