Is a phone call worth your life?
CHECKING a mobile phone while driving is a crime many of us are guilty of but the next time you reach for the phone, ask yourself first, is it worth your life?
More and more Bundaberg drivers are being caught using their phones while driving and Bundaberg Police have a message - you're not as sneaky as you think and eventually, you will be caught.
"We're still having an ongoing problem with it, especially people texting while waiting in lines of traffic," Bundaberg Police traffic branch officer-in- charge Sergeant Marty Arnold said.
"It's scary that we're seeing drivers on the main arterial roads and they have their heads looking down obviously texting or doing something on their phone."
Two fatalities on Queensland roads this year have been attributed to people using their phone while driving and one was in Bundaberg.
"The trend is rising because of technology and social media," Sgt Arnold said.
"Some people can't go 10 minutes without checking their messages or updating their status.
"It only takes a second and then for the sake of a phone call or a text message, you've killed someone."
Sgt Arnold said under no circumstances was it legal for people to touch their phone while driving whether it be for a call, a text or using the phone's satellite navigation system.
And while headphones remove the element of touching a phone, Sgt Arnold said they posed their own dangers and should not be used.
"The concern with headphones for talking or listening to music is you can't hear anything else around you so if someone is honking their horn to warn you about something or there are sirens, you can't hear them," he said.
"We have a zero tolerance to mobile phone offences."
- Anyone caught using their phone while driving faces a $330 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
- The penalty for a driver, who causes a crash, injures or kills another person while using their phones can face much more serious penalties including terms of imprisonment.
- Sgt Arnold said some of the main offenders were people who drive vehicles for a living.
- Bundaberg Police conduct operations in which plain clothes police officers spot drivers on the phone and relay their details to police down the road.
- In car handsfree devices start from about $30 and are sold at a range of electrical retailers in the region.