From today, NSW drivers could lose up to 10 demerit points for illegally using their mobile phone while driving.
Monday September 17 sees the penalty for breaking the rules on mobile phone use increase from four points to five, meaning double demerit periods could see drivers lose 10 demerit points in one go.
Transport for NSW have reminded road users that the only instances in which fully licensed drivers and riders may use their mobile phones is as follows:
- To make or answer a call or to use the audio-playing function ONLY if the phone is a) in a cradle fixed to the vehicle that doesn't obscure your view of the road and b) can be operated without touching any part of the phone (i.e. via Bluetooth or voice activation);
- As a driver's aid (for navigation, for example) again only if the phone is mounted and does not obstruct your view of the road.
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers and motorcyclists are not permitted to use mobile phones at all while driving or riding.
The increase was announced earlier this year, with Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey saying that drivers caught breaking the rules could actually be at risk of losing their license.
"Three quarters of the population that we surveyed want better and stronger road rules around mobile phone use," she added.