Drivers face $1000 fine for mobile phone use

stock image.
stock image.

NEW $1000 on the spot fines for drivers using mobile phones will come into effect later this year in WA.

The State government has introduced tougher penalties to deal with driver distraction caused by using mobile phones on WA roads.

An aggravated offence will apply for using drivers caught texting, emailing, social media, watching videos or accessing the internet.

The current penalty is a $400 fine and losing three demerit points.

The new penalty of $1000 and four demerit points will come into effect on July 1, causing WA to have some of the toughest penalties for mobile phone use while driving in Australia.

Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said it might take time to persuade people to be responsible.

Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said it might take time to persuade people to be responsible but it needed to be done for safer roads.

“We’ve done it before with drink driving, we’ve done it with seatbelts and speeding,” she said.

“Now we are doing it with mobile phones.

“These increased penalties send a strong message to drivers who engage in deliberate risk taking behaviour.

“I want to make it clear to motorists, that using your mobile phone to text or read emails or FaceTime while you’re driving is incredibly dangerous.”

WA will follow the approach taken in NSW and ACT, where there are distinction between different types of phone use.

Any driver who touches their mobile phone while stopped at traffic lights or talks on the phone while holding the handset will incur a penalty of $500 and three demerit points.

The State government said 31 people were killed on WA roads as a result of inattention last year, which included mobile phone use.

In the past five years more than 77,000 drivers have been caught using their mobile phones by WA Police.

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