Massive fines as new cameras nab 100 bad drivers a day
Cameras that catch drivers looking at their mobile phones will be rolled out around Queensland in the new year, as the state records its worst road toll in nearly a decade.
A trial of Queensland's first mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras alarmingly caught 100 people a day flouting the rules.
But the trial is now ending and motorists will face hefty fines if caught in the new year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today pleaded with Queenslanders to take more care behind the wheel, with 275 people killed on the state's roads this year.
"These members of our community aren't just statistics," he said.
"They are someone's mother, father, brother, sister or friend.
"Those crashes also take a toll on the emergency services workers who are often the first on the scene responding to these incidents."
Mr Bailey said a number of road safety projects would be rolled out in the new year, including more safety barriers, road widening works and fixing problem intersections.
"In 2021, we also intend to permanently roll out cameras that can detect people using their mobile phone behind the wheel," he said.
"That moment of distraction when you look down at the phone can be the same as driving with an .07 to .10 blood alcohol content.
"Even if you take your eyes off the road for two seconds, if you are travelling at 60km/h, you will have travelled 33m essentially blind.
"There is no excuse to be looking at your phone while driving and we will make sure cameras are moving right across Queensland to stop that risky behaviour.
"You might lose your licence if you do it and get caught, but that's easier to live with than losing your own life or causing death or serious injury to someone else for the sake of sending a text or posting that picture."
A total of 275 people have been killed on Queensland roads this year, compared with 219 at this time in 2019.
Of those, 35 per cent were not wearing seatbelts, 19 per cent involved a speeding driver, 15 per cent involved a drunk driver, 13 per cent fatigue and seven per cent were as a result of a distracted driver.
More than 3500 people suffered serious injuries.
People caught using their mobile phones while driving face a $1000 fine and four demerit points.
Originally published as Massive fines as new cameras nab 100 bad drivers a day