Phone distractions biggest worry for Queensland drivers

QUEENSLANDERS say mobile phone distractions are their biggest safety concern while taking part in the new Join the Drive safety campaign.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said on Wednesday Queenslanders have just three more days to join more than 250 possible TV stars and share a road safety message as part of the up-coming Christmas campaign.

"We promised to revitalise front line services and this is the first step in our efforts to drive behavioural change for all road users," he said.

"The previous messages were not getting through, so it is positive to see the community embracing the new road safety campaign.

"Texting while driving continues to be a hot topic among those being interviewed followed by 27% of people speaking about driving tired and 19% raising drink or drug driving.

"This shows we need to change attitudes to match Queensland's laws, which are some of the toughest in the country for those who choose to drive while distracted."

Earlier this week, Maleny teen Meghan Catherine Louise Hopper, 19, walked free from court despite pleading guilty to using her iPhone while driving which resulted in the death of a Taiwanese fruit picker.

Hopper had been driving along Beerburrum Road near Elimbah on July, 7, 2012, shortly after 9.30pm when her vehicle left the road careering into Chen-Chuan Yang killing him instantly and seriously maiming his companion Kwan-Jung Wu.

Less than five months after killing Mr Yang, Hopper was caught by police in Brisbane once again driving while using her iPhone.

She was sentenced to 30 months in jail, but Judge Hugh Botting wholly suspended her sentence saying "I do not believe society's interests would be served by sending you to jail."

Queensland road safety advocate Russell White told APN Newsdesk this week there has to come a time where this type of behaviour while driving becomes socially unacceptable.

"When people are let off like this they do not see the consequences of their actions so there is really no deterrent," he said.


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