West Australian drivers caught using their phone in the car are set to cop a $1000 fine.
The new laws to be announced today by the State Government will take effect from July 1 and are a huge increase from the current $400 fine.
The new laws will include texting, video streaming, emailing and checking social media pages including Facebook and Instagram. As well as the hefty fines, drivers will also receive with four demerit points, rather than the current three points.
It is also understood to include "touching" a mobile phone while driving, which WA's Road Safety Commission defines as "resting on any part of the driver's body (eg lap)".
Last year 31 people were killed on WA roads as a result of inattention, which includes mobile phone use. More than 77,000 drivers were caught using their mobile phones.
"These increased penalties send a strong message to drivers who engage in deliberate risk taking behaviour," Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said.
"I want to make it clear to motorists, that using your mobile phone to text or read emails or FaceTime while you're driving is incredibly dangerous. We need to change the culture of many drivers.
"We've done it before with drink driving, we've done it with seatbelts and speeding. Now we are doing it with mobile phones. It may take some time to persuade people to be responsible, but we have to do it in order to make our roads safer."