$30,000 or jail for using cell phone while driving
Less than one year after a bill was tabled in Parliament proposing that persons who use cellular phones while driving be slapped with a $10,000 fine, Transport Minister Mike Henry is urging legislators to consider a $30,000 fine for the same offence.
The new Road Traffic Bill, which is now before the House of Representatives, is not only proposing a 200 per cent increase in the fine, but it is also suggesting that persons be jailed for one month if the money is not paid.
"These provisions are very necessary when we look at the carnage on the nation's roads," Henry said yesterday.
Since the start of the year, 290 persons have died on the country's roads in crashes.
In addition to clamping down on the use of cellular phones while driving, the bill proposes that the drivers of vehicles with electronic devices such as televisions be hit hard in their pockets.
If caught, drivers who have visual electronic devices in their line of sight can be charged $30,000.
The law does not apply to a person who uses a navigation device, a radio, or a device that produces rear-view images while reversing.
"If the truth be told, many of these victims may have been using some sort of electronic communication of visual devices," Henry said.
"These devices are very distracting and should not be utilised while a person is operating a motor vehicle on the road," he added.