Stricter road rules now enforced
Local authorities have welcomed new road rules addressing drivers users mobile phones.
Drivers can now be fined if they are holding a mobile phone, even if it’s not to their ear.
The new rules, which were introduced in NSW on November 1, also stipulate is it illegal for any L or P-plate driver to use a mobile phone, including hands free devices.
Police Command Highway Patrol Sergeant Darryl Thomas said the new legislation would clear up any confusion attached to the use of mobile phones while driving.
‘‘These laws are not all new, but clear up a lot
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of cloudiness people had about the use of phones.
‘‘The new rules say that if your phone is on your lap, it is still in use.
‘‘It has to be put away so it cannot be seen, because if you see a call or text come through it’s still a distraction.’’
It is now illegal to even touch your mobile phone, unless it is in a fixed mount to make hands free calls.
The legislation also clarifies that texting, video and email is illegal while driving at all times.
Sgt Thomas said any use of a phone was a ‘‘great hazard to road safety’’.
He said statistics show using a phone while driving was actu- ally worse than drink driving.
Other changes introduced on November 1 relate to using roundabouts, overtaking, giving way to pedestrians and changes for the heavy vehicle industry.
A handbook on the changes, including explanatory diagrams, is available online at www.rta.nsw.gov.au.