West Australian drivers caught using their mobile phones while behind the wheel are set to be slugged with a $1000 fine.
The new punishment will come into effect on July 1, equalling Queensland as the most expensive penalty for those caught breaking the law on Australian roads.
Not only will drivers caught texting, taking a call, using social media or watching a video be out of pocket, they will also receive four demerit points.
Authorities say the steep fines will send a strong message to drivers who intentionally engage in dangerous driving behaviour.
In 2019, almost 12,000 motorists were caught using their mobile phones while driving, according to WA Police.
Similar laws came into effect on Queensland roads on February 1
Any driver or cyclist caught using a mobile phone on Queensland roads are now at risk of copping the $1000 fine and four demerit points, with police saying the steep penalties are necessary because road users are not getting the message that being distracted while behind the wheel can be deadly.
"We see about 25 people a year die on our roads where distraction is one of the contributing factors," Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said.
"It's total unnecessary loss of life.
"The thought of paying $1000 will certainly deter me and I'm sure it will deter many Queenslanders."
Queensland authorities say they are also in the process of installing portable cameras that can detect drivers using their mobile phones.
The news comes after NSW rolled out a similar technology that can capture clear photos of any driver in any lane in any weather conditions.
While there is no set date for when the Queensland cameras will go live, NSW drivers caught on camera using their mobile phones are approaching the end of a three-month grace period.
As of next month, NSW drivers will be hit with a $344 fine and five demerit points.
Mobile phone penalties in other states and territories
In Victoria, if a driver is caught using their mobile phone, they will receive four demerit points and a $496 fine.
South Australian drivers caught using their mobile phone while behind the wheel will incur a $534 fine and three demerit points.
In the Australian Capital Territory, any driver caught using their mobile phone while driving will be issued a $480 fine and three demerit points.
Tasmanian drivers will be hit with a $336 fine and three demerit points.
The Northern Territory has the lowest penalty in Australia with drivers caught using their mobile phones copping a $250 fine and three demerit points.
Drivers are warned that fines and demerit points are increased if caught using mobile phones while behind the wheel in a school zone.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/wa-drivers-thousand-dollar-fine-for-using-mobile-phone/881291ba-7c14-4aa4-a457-6cf2585e17e2