Surprise Gympie twist in fight to fix mobile phone stupidity
THE "don't text and drive" message is sinking in with Gympie residents, with the number of fines issued in the region expected to drop for the second year in a row.
Qld Police data reveals 59 fines were issued for mobile phone offences in the Gympie region from July 1 last year to April 30, this year. It puts the region on track to record 70 infringements for the financial year, 15 less than in 2017-18. And this was 22 per cent less than the 110 tickets given out by Gympie police in 2016-17.
The drop comes at a good time, with fines for the crime rising to $400 and three demerit points as of July 1, this year. If it finds its way to court, the maximum penalty is $2669.
And it becomes harsher for repeat offenders, with double demerits for second or subsequent offences committed within one year of the first.
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Under Queensland road rules a driver must not use a hand-held mobile phone when driving.
This includes when the vehicle is stationary but not parked, such as stopped at traffic lights.
So what constitutes an offence?
Holding the phone to or near the ear whether engaged in a call or not, writing, sending or reading a text message, turning the phone on or off, or operating any other function of the phone such as email or social media are all actions which will end with a dent in the driver's wallet.
"P2 and open licence holders may use the mobile phone functions only if it is in a cradle or used with a hands-free kit," a Transport and Main Roads spokesman said.
"Additional mobile phone restrictions apply to learner sand P1 licence holders less than 25 years old. They must not use a mobile phone while driving.
"Passengers of learner and P1 licence holders must also not use a mobile phone on loudspeaker function.
"We all have a role to play in road safety and motorists are reminded to stick to the speed limits, abide by the road rules and drive to the conditions.
"All motorists need to be aware of the fatal five and take them seriously: drink and drug driving, fatigue, inattention, not using a seat belt and speeding."