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Canberra drivers using phones nabbed in increasing numbers

Canberra drivers using phones nabbed in increasing numbers : Canberra drivers using phones nabbed in increasing numbers
The number of Canberra drivers fined for using mobile phones has increased by nearly 70 percent in the last 18 months, new police figures reveal. Officials issued 689 traffic violation notifications, amounting to $ 296,884, in the six months to April 2017. Another 274 people in Canberra were officially warned, according to ACT Policing data. That compares with 408 fines and 219 warnings in the same period 12 months earlier. The ACT government's stance against driver distraction hardened in September last year when it introduced a new offense for messaging and Internet use at the wheel. The $ 511 penalty and four demerit points is believed to be the toughest of its kind in Australia. Of those fines, 138 were issued in the first eight months, earning the government $ 70,518 if all of them were paid. Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury said at the time the new category acknowledged the danger of driver distraction. "ACT Government research has found that 13 percent of ACT drivers admit to using a hand-held mobile phone while driving - with 4 percent of drivers saying they do it all the time," he said. Other offenses of driver distraction include causing unnecessary noise, not having a clear view of the road and people driving with animals or other people on their laps. Figures on these crimes were not immediately available. Topics: police, crime, law-crime-and-justice, canberra-2600, act, australia More articles from Australian Capital Territory What have you ever wondered about Canberra that you would like An ABC reporter to investigate? If you have internal knowledge of a topic in the news, contact ABC. Go inside the state to dress streams of origin with one of the gentilians of the game Petero Civoniceva. Can you challenge yourself to just using a fraction of what's in your closet will help you break the nonsensical shopping habit? By Ingrid Appelqvist, CSIRO Your genes, your saliva and the bacteria that live in your mouth, shape how the flavors of food and what you prefer to eat. By Jessica Haynes The return of House of Cards for a fifth season brings the promise of more intrigue, more scandal - and more spoilers. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service

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