Yes Belt, No Phone

This month saw a change in the rules for the use of mobile phones and seatbelts while driving. Technology has improved, meaning cameras with better capabilities have been implemented on our streets. After a successful trial, cameras are now able to detect when a driver is not wearing their seatbelt or is using a mobile device.

Penalties began the first of this month and include the following rules:

  • Use of mobile phone: $1,033 fine and 4-point demerit
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt: $413 fine and 3-point demerit
    • Drivers can also be fined a further $413 fine and 3-point demerit for each passenger not wearing a seatbelt
  • Double demerit points apply for repeat offenses within a 12-month period

Distracted driving is the cause of almost 20% of serious road injuries in Queensland. And anyone in a car is almost 9 times as likely to die in a car crash if they aren’t wearing a seatbelt. These two things are 2 of 5 fatal behaviors on the road.

As of July 26, 2021, it’s illegal to be holding a phone or have it rest on your body while driving—even if you are stopped in traffic. Even if the phone is turned off, this is an offence.

Seatbelts increase the chance of surviving a crash by almost 200% as long as they are properly fitted. There are very few exemptions which include:

  • You are reversing the vehicle as the driver
  • You carry a current seatbelt exemption certificate (signed by a doctor for a medical condition/disability)
  • The vehicle was originally made without seatbelts fitted and you are over 7 years of age (Children under seven are not allowed in the vehicle)
  • You are required to get in and out of the vehicle frequently while engaged in door-to-door pick up/deliveries and you are not going over 25km/h

There’s really no reason to be using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt while driving. So don’t. Why would you want to risk fines and demerits? Even worse, why would you want to risk a fatal crash?

Info: QLD Gov: https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/news/features/harsher-penalties-for-drink-drivers

Seatbelt rules: https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/road/seatbelt-rules

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