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Phone fines: Support grows for greater penalties for drivers caught with phones

It seems police won’t stand in the way of greater penalties for using your phone while driving.

Neil Mitchell revealed yesterday state cabinet is considering whether to increase the penalty for mobile phone use behind the wheel.

Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton told Neil Mitchell driver distraction is a major issue.

“A lot of that is mobile phones, and it’s not even the phone, it’s using the internet as well while driving, which seems to be a very common thing now,” he said.

“It’s not having much of a deterrent effect at the moment where it is, so it’s worth having a look at.”

He says while tougher penalties aren’t a decision for police, he confirmed the government is seeking input from the Assistant Commissioner for road policing.

NM:  “I take your point, it’s a government decision … but it sounds if you believe an increase in penalties might be necessary?”

GA: “I wouldn’t be jumping up and down if it was increased, no.”

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