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Driving and Mobile Phones

You may have heard that the Queensland Government has recently rolled out more cameras across Queensland to detect:

  • people using mobile phones illegally while driving; and
  • drivers and their front seat passengers not wearing seatbelts.

You can be fined $1,033.00 and have 4 demerit points recorded against your traffic history for using a mobile phone illegally while driving. This includes when you’re stopped at traffic lights or stopped in traffic. You can also be fined $413.00 and 3 demerit points for not wearing seat belt.

Double demerit points apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offences committed within 1 year after an earlier offence.

If you get 12 or more demerit points within a 3 year period on a Queensland open licence, you’ll be sent an ‘Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose’.

This notice will require you to choose to either:

  • have your open licence suspended for a requisite period; or
  • agree to continue driving under a period of good driving behaviour for 1 year.

If you don’t nominate an option by the choice date, your licence will automatically be suspended for the stated period and will start the day after the choice date outlined on the Notice.

If you choose to continue driving under a good driving behaviour period for 1 year, you can keep your current licence. To choose a good behaviour option, you must notify the Department of Traffic and Main Roads by the due date stated on the ‘Accumulation of Demerit Points – Notice to Choose’. Your good driving behaviour period will start from the date you select, which must be between the current date and choice date.

It is common for people to incur 2 or more demerit points during a good driving behaviour – for example, by speeding, using their mobile phone illegally or not wearing a seat belt. If you incur 2 or more demerit points during the good driving behaviour period, your licence will be suspended for double the suspension period that would have applied if you had chosen the suspension period originally (e.g. for an original 3 month suspension, your new suspension period will be 6 months). However, in certain circumstances, you may be allowed to keep driving under a special hardship order.

Special hardship order

You may be eligible to apply for a special hardship order if suspension of your licence would cause extreme hardship to you and your family. A special hardship order is a court order that allows a suspended driver to drive under restricted and specific circumstances. Please note, this is different to a restricted licence (commonly known as a ‘work licence’) which may apply when you have been charged with a drink or drug driving offence.

Should you wish to apply in Court for a Special Hardship Order, or require representation with other traffic offences, such as drink or drug driving, please contact our office to arrange an appointment with one of our lawyers.

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Date Published - August 5, 2021

The Content and links referenced in this article were valid at the date of publishing.

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