More than 170,000 drivers and front-seat passengers have been snapped doing the wrong thing since Queensland’s mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras came online.
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 across the state.
Across the Central area, which includes the Wide Bay Burnett, Capricornia, Mackay and North Coast regions, 7313 people were fined, 5964 were for drivers using their mobile phones while 1349 for drivers or passengers not wearing their seatbelt.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says the shocking figures indicated too many Queenslanders continued to risk their lives on the roads.
“Using a mobile phone while driving is as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.07-0.10,” Mr Bailey says.
“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 says 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.
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.
Mr Bailey also says 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 says.
“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.