Double demerit points to target texting drivers

Published Wednesday, 20 May, 2015 at 01:18 PM


Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

Motorists repeatedly caught texting or using their mobile phone while driving will face stiffer penalties under changes being rolled out by the Palaszczuk Government.

The tougher penalties are among a range of recommendations arising from last month’s Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum at Parliament House where top level talks were held with road safety experts on ways to address an alarming spike in the 2015 Easter road toll.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jo-Ann Miller and Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said all of the recommendations are strongly supported by key stakeholders, including the Police, RACQ, CARRS-Q, Bicycle Queensland, the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland and the Queensland Trucking Association.

“It was the worst Easter road toll in Queensland in more than 20 years and we went into the forum with a collective determination to turn these terrible statistics around,” Ms Miller said.

Minister Miller said the Queensland Police Service would investigate expanding automatic number plate recognition technology in police vehicles.

“For too long, dangerous unregistered and unlicensed drivers have been over-represented in crash statistics. Greater use of this technology will give police the resources they need to target reckless and irresponsible drivers.

“We will expand training for our road policing officers to better detect and deter broader criminal activities, along with enhanced drug driving operations across the state,” Ms Miller said.

Minister Bailey said immediate measures would be taken to target distracted drivers and people who take drugs and get behind the wheel.

“Drivers caught committing repeat mobile phone offences within a year can expect double demerits, similar to those imposed on repeat offenders who don’t wear a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet, or who exceed the speed limit by more than 20 km/h.”

“We will form a Citizen’s Taskforce that will report direct to government on important road safety issues and the steps that need to be taken to make our roads safer.

“Road safety is everyone’s business, but if it’s left to governments alone it will never work. It is the responsibility of all of us.”

An overwhelming consensus from the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum was the need to engage with children and talk to them about road safety, even from a young age. We want to find out what our kids think is the most important aspect of road safety – and then we want them to design an awareness poster for the QPS to use on social media.

The masterpieces of Queensland’s budding young artists will also feature as part of a new social media road safety campaign aimed at curbing any of their parents’ bad driving habits.

The categories are Prep to Year 3 and Year 4 to Year 6 – and the posters can be about any aspect of road safety. Principals will be able to submit their school’s entries on the MyPolice blog from this afternoon.

Five winning posters from each category will be selected and will form part of the campaign, which will run on the QPS Facebook and Twitter accounts during the winter school holidays.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm June 19.

The outcomes of the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum will shape the state’s Road Safety Action Plan over the next two years.


 * Prioritise motorcycle safety for new and returning riders, including a television and social media campaign in June 2015

 * Introduce motorcycle licensing reforms, such as pre-learner training courses, to be progressed in consultation with stakeholders, industry partners and the community

 * Launch a youth road safety innovation challenge to engage with 16-24 year olds by brainstorming key issues and innovative solutions, as the first step in broader engagement with young people

 * Form a Citizens’ Taskforce to report back to government about complex road safety issues, including ways to encourage safe driving

 * Introduce double demerit points for two or more mobile phone offences committed within one year, similar to current arrangements for repeat seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and high-range speeding offences

 * Address dangerous unregistered and unlicensed drivers who are over‑represented in crash statistics with QPS investigating the expansion of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology in police vehicles

 * Expand training for road policing officers to better detect and deter broader criminal activities, including enhanced drug driving operations across Queensland

 * Host a Queensland Road Safety Week in August in partnership with other stakeholders to engage the community in important conversations about road safety


Media contact:          Minister Bailey’s Office    3719 7316

                                  Minister Miller’s Office    3035 8315