Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving

Use Of Mobile Phones While Driving

Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving

Drivers in NSW should now be extra cautious not to use their mobile phones whilst driving. The technology being used by NSW Police is constantly being renewed and upgraded.

Although it can be tempting to use your mobile phone whilst in traffic, we seem to forget that these laws are in place to make the roads safer and to keep laws up to date with the changing society and new technologies.

Did you know that if you are driving 60 km/h and you look at your phone while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind!

THE STORY

It was reported on 7 News last night that, between January 2018 and June 2019 51,390 fines were issued for mobile phone offences, that adds up to $17 million. As well as the heavy fine of $344, you now lose 5 demerit points. During the double demerit periods, drivers face harsher penalties for breaking these Road Rules during relevant holiday periods, such as at Easter, Christmas and Australia Day.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy from NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol says “we don’t think the message is getting through that’s why we continue to enforce these strict laws. Social media is a big problem for us now using Facetime”.

I was also reported that phone addicts are more likely to be driving from the CBD to the airport while the M2 and M7 are close behind. One Cessnock driver was fined 4 times in just 8 days!

New South Wales Police has added extra motorcycles to their fleet both in the City and Regional New South Wales and each motorcycle officer wears a helmet that have cameras on both sides being able to capture evidence to be used in Court. These cameras can take photos over the shoulder of the driver, possibly even a video.

NSW is the strictest in all jurisdictions!

LEARNERS, P1 AND P2 DRIVERS AND MOTORCYCLISTS

If you are on a Learner’s Permit, are a P1 or P2 driver or are a motorcyclist you are never allowed to use a phone while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. You must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your phone in any way.

These laws encourage learner and provisional drivers and riders to concentrate on developing their vehicle control and hazard-perception skills. Mobile phone use can distract novice drivers and riders from the driving task.

Learner and P1 drivers and riders who commit a mobile phone offence will exceed their demerit point threshold and face a three-month licence suspension. P2 drivers and riders who commit a mobile phone offence will be two demerit points away from reaching their threshold.

FULL LICENSE DRIVERS

If you are a fully licensed driver, you are allowed to use a phone while driving in the following circumstances:

  • To answer or make a call;
  • To play audio material; and
  • As a driver’s aid (eg. navigation)

However, these uses are permitted only if the phone is:

  • Secured to the vehicle and does not obscure the driver’s view of the road; or
  • Can be operated without the driver pressing anything on the phone or manipulating any part of the phone (such as by voice activation).

WHILE DRIVING YOU CANNOT DO THE FOLLOWING

  • Texting or audio texting;
  • Emailing;
  • Using social media;
  • Taking photos;
  • Video messaging; and
  • Holding your phone in any way (in hand, on lap, between shoulder and ear). Drivers are only allowed to hold a phone to pass it to a passenger.

DANGEROUS PROBLEM

Crash data from 2010 to 2014 showed there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers was identified as a contributing factor. This included seven fatal crashes and 116 injury crashes. These crash numbers are considered to be under-reported because of the difficulty of finding evidence of illegal mobile phone use at crash scenes. This suggests the size of the problem could be much greater.

From July 2014 to June 2015, more than 35,300 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for using hand-held mobile phones, showing the problem is still prevalent.

To read about our previous blog about this topic, click here.

If you receive a penalty notice or are at risk of being suspended due to mobile phone use, you should contact National Criminal Lawyers. We are specialists in traffic law and we can help you keep your licence.

 

 

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