Stricter road rules now en­forced

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

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

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