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Qld drivers to cop fine for using phones

Queenslanders caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel will face the toughest fines in the country from next year.

Anyone caught using a phone will be fined $1000 from February 1, and drivers caught twice within a year risk losing their licence.

The fine is more than double the current penalty of $400.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey says Queensland will also trial cameras already in use in NSW that are specifically designed to detect mobile phone use on the roads.

"They are the toughest laws in Australia ... because this problem has been escalating," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"I just can't accept the road toll - we've got to deal with this."

Mr Bailey says drivers already know they are breaking the law and risking lives by picking up their devices, and there's no need for a long lead in time.

"The safest thing for people to do is to change their behaviour right now because that means safer roads."

© AAP 2019