A Queensland driver has been caught on camera eating breakfast cereal and scrolling through a mobile phone while behind the wheel of a moving car.
However, incredibly, the offending driver will likely avoid a $1000 fine because Queensland was only testing the technology at the time.
The alarming image shows a driver balancing a breakfast cereal bowl on what appears to be a cushion, while scrolling through a mobile phone with one hand.
The image was published by Queensland authorities late last year but has only just now gained widespread attention.
On its Facebook page, the Queensland Department of Transport wrote: “We’re trialling our new mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras across the state until the end of the year. They’re there to detect illegal mobile phone use and anyone not wearing a seatbelt. No fines are being issued during the trial, but keep in mind that (police) will still be enforcing the laws using traditional roadside enforcement methods.”
The image sparked outrage from fellow motorists but the driver is unlikely to face prosecution, even though the offence could also be considered not having proper control of a vehicle.
For now, only NSW is issuing fines for mobile phone offences detected by a camera, however authorities in Victoria and Queensland are expected to adopt the enforcement method at the conclusion of their current trials.
Meanwhile, here is a quick recap of the mobile phone driving penalties in each state and territory in Australia (subject to change):
New South Wales: $349 and five demerit points, with penalties rising to $464 in school zones.
Queensland: $1000 and four demerit points. Repeat offenders will receive a $2000 fine and double demerit points if caught again within 12 months from the previous offence.
Victoria: $496 and four demerit points.
ACT: $480 and three demerit points for handheld phone use and a $589 fine and four demerit points for driver using mobile device for messaging, social networking, mobile application or accessing internet.
South Australia: $534 and three demerit points.
Western Australia: $1000 and four demerit points.
Northern Territory: $500 and three demerit points.
Tasmania: $336 and three demerit points.