Police blast drivers as more dial up death

MORE drivers are dialing with death by using their mobiles, and Gladstone police say it's only a matter of time before a mobile phone session ends in tragedy.

Calliope Road Policing Unit Acting Senior Sgt Darryl Richter said there had been an increase in the number of people using mobile phones while driving.

He said it needed to stop.

"There are so many things people can do with phones now; making calls, looking at texts, the numbers of apps are endless," he said.

"There's the potential for some type of crash, you can get a fine, could end up facing charges like dangerous driving and driving without due care and attention, all matter you may need to appear in court for.

"In the worst case scenario you could be charged with dangerous driving causing death which carries hefty penalties and even terms of imprisonment."

Sgt Richter said the main charge people would face was using a handheld phone while driving.

"That includes not just talking but holding it up, looking at text or taking a photo, and is punished by a $341 fine and the loss of three demerit points," he said.

He said police had a number of different methods to combat the issue.

"We have plain clothes patrols targeting those kinds of offences, motorbike police and other ways of observing driver behaviour.

"Sometimes it's covert, when people don't think anyone is looking there's a small element that break the law," he said.

Sgt Richter said that although using headphones wasn't technically illegal it wasn't recommended.

"You need to hear sirens and horns and even your vehicle, mainly to hear what's gong on around you.

"Offence-wise it could lead to a charge of driving without proper control of your vehicle or driving without due care and attention," he said.

He said a lot of people used phones at traffic lights and also when they were leaving work.

"They're often checking messages and sorting out what they're doing on their way home," he said.



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