DRIVING DANGER: New data has revealed tens of thousands of drivers were caught in Queensland using a phone behind the wheel.
DRIVING DANGER: New data has revealed tens of thousands of drivers were caught in Queensland using a phone behind the wheel. -goldy-

Data reveals how many Queensland drivers are on their phones

RACQ has slammed the actions of distracted drivers after new data revealed tens of thousands of drivers were caught in Queensland using a phone behind the wheel.

Data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, analysed by RACQ, revealed more than 31,000 drivers were charged with mobile offences between February 2017 and January 2019.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said the Brisbane police region had the most offenders, with more than 12,000 fines handed out, followed by south east Queensland with more than 6700.

"These statistics are shocking and sadly show that Queenslanders aren't getting the message on how deadly this behaviour is,” Ms Ritchie said.

"If you're distracted by a phone, you're at least four times more likely to have a crash.

"There's no excuse for this behaviour because when you're sending a text or checking social media behind the wheel, you're not only risking your own life but the lives of everyone else around you.”

Ms Ritchie said as part of RACQ's distraction campaign, drivers were encouraged to 'set their phone, then leave it alone'.

"We know drivers still want to use their phone for functions like music and maps, so we're asking motorists to take a couple of minutes before you head off to set up your phone, then switch it to 'do not disturb' mode and don't touch it for the rest of the trip,” she said.

"This simple action only takes a moment but it could save a life.”

This is a campaign Kingaroy police have supported.

Officer-in-charge at Kingaroy Police Station Sergeant David Tierney said it was important to remember most drivers using their phones behind the wheel were never caught.

"It can be hard to catch them,” he said.

"Because as soon as they see an officer they put the phone down.

"It's looking like more places are getting cameras that catch this though, which is great. Especially at traffic lights.”

Sgt Tierney said traffic lights were where most drivers would pull out their phones.

"Just because they're sitting there waiting doesn't mean they don't still need to be aware,” he said.

"Being distracted and on your phone at traffic lights is still dangerous.

"You need to always be aware when behind the wheel.”

Mobile phone offences by police region between February 2017 and January 2019:

Brisbane

12,316

South-East

6722

Central

5717

Southern

3993

Northern

2517

Data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads.