More than 170,000 drivers and front-seat passengers have been snapped doing the wrong thing in 12 months since Queensland’s mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras began enforcement.
The cameras caught 119,862 drivers using their phones illegally and 52,542 drivers or front-seat passengers not wearing a seatbelt or wearing it correctly.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the shocking figures indicated too many Queenslanders continued to risk their lives on the roads.
“Each offender needs to ask themself what value they place on their life as using a mobile phone while driving or failing to wear a seatbelt or wear it correctly could easily end in tragedy – that’s the reality,” Mr Bailey said.
“Using a mobile phone while driving is as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.07-0.10.
“By law, you must not have your phone in your hand or resting on any part of your body, including your lap while driving, regardless of whether the phone is on or in use.”
Mr Bailey said all drivers had a responsibility to ensure they and their passengers were wearing a seatbelt and wearing it properly.
“Wearing a seatbelt correctly fastened and adjusted reduces the risk of serious injury in a crash by 50 per cent and death by 45 per cent,” he said.
“A seatbelt, if worn correctly, should be worn across the shoulder, the chest and buckled low across the hips. A seatbelt is designed to go across these areas as they are better able to withstand a crash than other parts of the human body.”
Any driver caught by the cameras can expect to receive a $1078 fine and lose four demerit points for both mobile phone and seatbelt offences.
“Double demerit points apply for repeat offences within a 12-month period, so if you are caught doing the wrong thing multiple times, you could face losing your licence in addition to the steep fines,” Mr Bailey said.
“Learners and P-Platers will face losing their licence when they receive their first infringement for either of these offences.
“The message is simple. If you don’t want one of these fines, do the right thing on our roads.”
Mr Bailey reiterated the cameras could be located anywhere, anytime, across Queensland and drivers should expect to be caught if they are breaking the road rules.
“All money raised through the Camera Detection Offence Program (CDOP) is reinvested in road safety initiatives and education programs,” he said.
“Road safety remains a priority and this financial year we have invested $1.5 billion state-wide, through education campaigns, road upgrades and new technologies.”