Drivers face $1000 fine for mobile phone use

  • Drivers face $1000 fine for mobile phone use

Drivers face $1000 fine for mobile phone use

Under new legislation, drivers will be fined $1000 and lose four demerit points for texting, streaming videos, browsing the internet or checking social media while behind the wheel.

Last year, 11,849 WA motorists were caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel.

But the penalties in those states are not as harsh, with the $1,000 fines in WA and Queensland almost double the next highest among Australian states and territories.

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby joined Perth LIVE where he told Oliver Peterson their own surveys show 4 out 5 drivers are using their phones while driving.

Motorists who use their mobiles when stopped at the traffic lights, or talk on the phone while holding the handset could be fined $500 dollars and handed three demerit points.

"We see about 25 people a year die on our roads where distraction is one of the contributing factors", Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said.

"It's total unnecessary loss of life".

"The thought of paying $1000 will certainly deter me and I'm sure it will deter many Queenslanders".

The fine is a huge increase from the current $400 fine and follows the lead of Queensland, where mobile fines have also been hiked.

As of next month, NSW drivers will be hit with a $344 fine and five demerit points. Now we are doing it with mobile phones.

WA and Queensland have some of the toughest penalties for driver mobile phone use in the country. "If the phone is not secured in a mounting, it can only be used to receive or terminate a phone call without touching it", the RSC website reads.

The new penalty is more than double the current $400 fine and means WA drivers will face the equal-harshest penalty in Australia for the offence, after Queensland announced past year it was increasing its fine.

Tasmanian drivers will be hit with a $336 fine and three demerit points.