Hands off mobile phones as new laws come into effect
DRIVING with your mobile phone in the car could be costly if Queensland Police take up the call to come down hard on drivers touching their phones.
New South Wales authorities have sent a blunt and expensive warning to drivers who simply rest their phones on their lap, in an attempt to crack down on dangerous driving habits.
From today, changes to the law in NSW mean drivers seen flouting the road rules in terms of even having access to their phones while driving could be fined $298 and lose three demerit points.
Drivers who do not have their phones in an approved hands-free dock mounted on the dash, or who leave their phones resting on laps, will be considered to be breaking the rules.
The use of other driver's aids including GPS units and music players will also be banned unless secured in a dock.
Texting is out all together.
Although Queensland Police have not confirmed they would take on the new laws, a senior officer said police would continue a zero tolerance attitude toward mobile phone usage by drivers.
"Research tells us loud and clear that engaging in a phone call or writing or receiving text messages while driving dramatically decreases a persons reaction and reflex time, causing accidents," he said.
"Fining people for mobile phone usage while driving is our way of stopping people from engaging in this dangerous driving behaviour and ultimately reducing the number of road accidents."
In Queensland, drivers must be parked off the road to use a phone in the car.
If caught holding the phone to or near the ear, whether or not engaged in a phone call, or writing or reading a text message, drivers face fines of up to $330 and the loss of three points.
Last financial year, Queensland Police fined 30,780 drivers for talking or texting on phones at the wheel, including 76 cyclists.
Know the rules
- There is no offence for eating and drinking while driving.
- Driving barefoot is not illegal.
- You can drive with thongs on.
- Road rules do apply in shopping centres.
In NSW, mobile phones can only be used by drivers if:
- The mobile phone does not require you to touch or manipulate the phone in any way.
- The phone is secured in a commercially designed and manufactured fixed mounting.
- The mounting is fixed in a location that will not distract or obscure your view in any way.
- The use of a driver's aid does not distract you from driving or from being in proper control of your vehicle.