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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3116 ..

Mr Wood

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The number of motorists issued an infringement notice for driving while using a mobile phone in the 2002-03 financial year was 690. The AFP advised that very few of these matters proceed to Court, where a court penalty of $2,000 may apply.

(2) There were 544 motorists who paid mobile phone infringement notices in 2002-03. Some of these payments related to infringements issued in 2001-02.

(3) Revenue received from mobile phone infringements in 2002-03 was $64,192.

(4) Australian Road Rule 300, which deals with hand held mobile phones, specifically excludes CB radios from the definition of mobile phones. The Australian Road Rules were developed by the National Road Transport Commission in consultation with all Australian governments through their transport agencies, police, and other stakeholders. A case for including CB radios was not made at that time, for reasons such as the different technology involved and the use of radios in service and emergency vehicles.

Australian Road Rule 297, Driver to have proper control of a vehicle etc., is the most appropriate road rule to deal with the multitude of other reasons why a driver may not have proper control of a vehicle. The infringement notice for driving without proper control of a vehicle is $123.

(5) The fine was increased from $118 to $220 for several reasons:

the policy of aligning ACT parking and traffic infringements with those applied in NSW;

the Australian Federal Police recommended an increase in the penalty based on the high number of infringements issued, their perception that the problem is growing, and the seriousness of the offence;

a survey conducted by TELSTRA in early 2003 found that a third of those polled admitted making calls while driving at least once a week and a sixth at least once per day. These numbers provide further evidence that hand held mobile phone use while driving is widespread and that the previous penalty level was not an effective deterrent;

there is increasing evidence that the use of hand held mobile phones while driving is dangerous. United Kingdom studies found that driving while using a mobile phone is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol limit of more than 0.08; and

advice from the Criminal Law and Justice Group was that the increase was well within the acceptable range when compared to the Court penalty for the same offence (currently $2000).

Penalty amounts are based on the seriousness of the offence and deterrence rather than cost recovery.


(Question No 819)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to littering and rubbish removal:

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