Hundreds of motorists are potentially risking a $1000 fine and four demerit points for using their mobile phones while passing through Queensland border checkpoints.
Under tough new laws introduced in February by the Labor government, it is illegal for drivers to hold a mobile phone, even if they have stopped in traffic or are just turning their phone on or off.
A driver passing through a checkpoint at Coolangatta while holding a mobile phone out the window to show their border declaration pass. Using a mobile phone while driving usually attracts a $1000 fine and the loss of four demerit points. Picture: Channel 7Source:NCA NewsWire
But each day, motorists cruise through the checkpoint at Coolangatta and hold their mobile phones out the window to show their border pass to police so they can enter Queensland.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey has equated using a mobile phone while driving to having a blood alcohol reading of 0,7 or higher and said more than 30 people died because of motorists driving while distracted in 2018.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey brought in hefty penalties for drivers using mobile phones, even if stopped in traffic, because it would save lives. Picture: Stewart McLeanSource:News Corp Australia
Mr Bailey refused to say whether he condoned motorists using their mobile phones while driving in contradiction to the tough laws and penalties that were introduced in February.
“The Queensland Police Service continue to do an excellent job managing our border and I have full confidence in their approach to the unique challenge of COVID-19,” Mr Bailey told NCA NewsWire.
“Queensland was first to introduce $1000 fines to discourage drivers using their phones while driving and we will continue our focus on reducing driver distraction.”
A driver passes through a checkpoint at Coolangatta holding her mobile phone. Picture: NCA / NewsWire Darren CartwrightSource:NCA NewsWire
A driver passes through a checkpoint at Coolangatta showing their border declaration pass on their mobile phone. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Darren CartwrightSource:NCA NewsWire
Queensland Police have been contacted for comment.
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