Revealed: How many phone fines handed out by FNQ cops
ALMOST two tickets per day have been handed out by Cairns and Innisfail traffic police in the first two weeks since a whopping new $1000 fine came in, busting people on their phones behind the wheel.
And school zones have been the most prominent places for motorists to be caught, according to Cairns road policing unit Acting Sen-Sgt Marc Rodgers.
He said of the 25 people caught by the two units, most motorists were "accepting" of the huge new penalty.
But police were concerned because the figure was about double the number of tickets handed down for the same period last year, when the fine was less than half the current amount.
"Police are seeking a change of behaviour and drivers need to come up with strategies to prevent using their mobile phone when driving," he said. "This is 25,000 reasons not to be the next person to pick up and use your mobile phone whilst driving."
The figures do not take into account other fines which may have been handed out by general duties officers around the region, so Acting Sen-Sgt Rodgers said the number might be higher.
He warned police were also planning several operations specifically targeting mobile phone use behind the wheel around the region in the coming months.
"Police are taking steps to get the message out to the community," he said.
"Further mobile phone operations will be conducted by the Road Policing Unit within the Far North.
"Police will further focus on motorists on rural roads and known black spots."
The new penalty also includes four demerit points and offenders caught twice in a year face double demerit points.