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WA doubles demerit points for using a mobile while driving

Western Australia is upping the penalty for mobile phone use while driving, with double demerit points in effect during holiday periods.

Western Australia is upping the penalties for mobile phone use while driving, with double demerit points in effect for breaking the law during holiday periods.

The changes, introduced by the WA State Government this week, come as Australians prepare for double whammy of long weekends in April (thanks to Easter and Anzac Day) and the inevitable increase in traffic that the holidays bring.

WA drivers will now face double demerit point penalties for infringements relating to using their mobile phone while driving and for red light traffic breaches. That's the same penalty applied to other "high-risk offences" according to the WA State Government, including drink driving and speeding.

"We know that both running red lights and using your mobile phone while driving are linked to fatal and serious crashes," said road safety minister Liza Harvey. "Our clear aim is to reduce the number of road crashes on Western Australian roads. We don't want anybody to lose a loved one on our roads over the Anzac and Easter holidays."

The new laws will come into effect by the Easter long weekend and will be reviewed after three years.