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Road Safety Message this Christmas – Mobile Phone Use While Driving

The holiday season usually means drivers will be driving a lot more. If you intend driving this Christmas and if you have a mobile phone be aware …

Drivers cannot at any time use their mobile phones to text, email, use social media or take photos. While your vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked), you may only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call or use the audio playing function if:

  • the mobile phone is secured in a fixed mounting; or
  • the mobile phone does not require you to touch or manipulate the phone in any way

You cannot touch your phone with any part of your body. In NSW, the word “use” in relation to a mobile phone while driving means;

  • switching the phone on or off
  •  holding the body of the phone in your hand (except when passing it to a passenger)
  • entering or placing anything into the phone
  • sending or looking at anything that is in the phone; or
  • operating any other function of the phone (e.g. activating SIRI)

A mobile phone’s GPS (or other driver’s aid) function may only be used if:

  • the phone is secured in a commercially designed and manufactured fixed mounting, and
  • the mounting is fixed in a location that will not distract or obscure your view in any way, and
  • the use of the driver’s aid does not distract you from driving or from being in proper control of your vehicle.

Learner drivers and red P platers are not permitted at any time to use a mobile phone while driving (or riding). This includes when stopped at traffic lights or stuck in traffic – there is no exception. If you wish to use your mobile phone for any reason, you must be parked and out of the line of traffic.

Fully licenced green P platers and cyclists, may “use” their mobile phone only if it is in a cradle affixed to the vehicle (which cradle must not obscure the driver’s vision of the road) and only if it can be used without touching any part of the phone.

These drivers can:

  • make or answer a call
  • use the audio function to play music; or
  • use it as a driver’s aid for example, as a GPS

Drivers guilty of offending the mobile phone use laws will be targeted and instantly be fined and lose demerit points.

The current penalty for drivers using their mobile phone include a fine of $319 plus 3 demerit points. The fine is $425 plus 4 demerit points while driving in a school zone.

From 2016, offenders will lose an extra demerit point for using their mobile phones while driving. Offenders will lose 4 points for any driving offence (5 points in a school zone).

From Midnight on 24 December, 2015 mobile phone offences will be included in the “double demerit periods”. This means if you are caught driving and using a mobile phone, you will be fined $638 and you will lose 6 demerit points.

If you find yourself in need legal assistance please don’t hesitate to contact S+P Lawyers at info@splawyers.com.au or by phone 1300 277 000.

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