Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey hopes new ads targeting people who use their mobile phones while driving will put an end to an increase in crashes caused by distraction.
Ms Harvey said the purpose of the seven-week awareness campaign, which kicks off tonight, was to educate the community about tough new penalties, which come into force on September 26.
“There are now no longer any excuses - it is simply unacceptable to touch your mobile phone while driving,” Ms Harvey said.
“We have increased the penalty for using your mobile phone to three demerit points and $400 because we are starting to see that distraction element, of people texting and using their mobile phones, being represented in our road stats.”
Ms Harvey said the ads would also warn of increased penalties for offences such as running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to give way to pedestrians and not wearing a seatbelt.
“People will start seeing messages about penalty changes on television, hearing about them on the radio and reading about the amendments through press and online channels,” she said.
“Using your mobile phone, running a red light and speeding are just some of the broad range of offences that will see an increase in fines and demerit points.”