NSW Texting And Driving Laws Are About To Get Much Tougher

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From September 2018, just touching your phone while you're driving could be enough for NSW drivers to lose their license. The number of demerit points for using a phone while driving is set to increase from four to five this year, so drivers should probably brush up on the rules around phone use while driving now.

With the increased demerit points on texting and driving (or doing anything on your phone and driving), offenders are likely to be hit even harder, especially in the event of doubt demerit weekends. The RMS is finding new ways to catch out mobile phone users too, with a world-first camera system on the way to identify offenders.

In case you forgot, here are the rules around using your phone while driving:

If you're a learner or a P-plater, you're not allowed to use your phone at all while driving - this includes listening to music, GPS navigation and anything else that uses your phone in any way. Yes it sucks, but you'll have to take that up with the police when they pull you over.

If you have your full licence, you're allowed to use your phone to answer of make a call, to play music and for GPS navigation and other driver's aids. Notably, however, these are only legal if you can do them without touching any part of the phone, and if the phone is in a cradle and not obscuring your view. Everything else is illegal - even if you can do it without touching your phone, like dictating a text.

You're not allowed to touch or hold your phone at any time, including having it in your lap. The only exception to this is if you're handing the phone to a passenger.

If you want to do anything on your phone that's illegal, your car must be parked out of the line of traffic.

If that wasn't enough, there will also be tougher restrictions on driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs. Doctors will be encouraged to report patients if they are likely to experience impairment due to prescription drugs.


Comments

    All for getting tougher with the number of people you see using phones and crashes occurring from that. Just think a bit extreme that p-platers cant listen to music or even use GPS. If they are on a big road trip, going to be pretty boring and tricky getting to their destination.

      There's these things called radios and maps that would probably come in handy in those situations. Just saying...

        It's 2018, not the 90's. Just saying.

          Yes it is, but if the law says you can't use your phone, I'm pointing out that there's alternatives that don't require one. Despite being 2018, those things still exist.

            They sure do exist but the problem with that is, you would need to pull over somewhere safely, unfold a map, work out where you are and where you need to go which can take a long time compared to few secs talking into your phone and getting directions told to you along the way. This is from personal experience. The common saying of how did we survive.

            Just don't see how the GPS can be an issue if its fixed to the dash and having directions spoken to you, there is the glance to see what lane you should be in but compared to texting, didn't think it would be as bad. We do rely on technology so much that if it failed, we would be pretty screwed as just forget what we used to do and how we did it. May sound strange but its just how the world is nowadays.

            Gave a walkman to a 12 yr old a while back and took him 20 mins to work out what it was, how it opened and what you put inside, it made me feel really old.

        Using a paper map while driving would be far worse than setting your phones GPS and putting it on the seat/dash and just letting it tell you "turn left in 100 metres".

        Obviously *fiddling* with the GPS while driving is bad, but I don't see why you can't set it going before you start moving and just let it give you instructions. That's no worse than having a person in the passenger seat saying "turn left up here".

        And same for music, if you turn the phone's music player on before you start moving and don't mess with it until you stop again I don't see a problem. I mean are they going to ban P Platers from using the car stereo that's build into the dash?

        I assume this is all about heading of claims from people who *are fiddling with* their phones while driving. So they can't say "oh I wasn't texting I was just changing songs". But I see that as covered by the other rules anyway.

      As i understand it, you can still listen to music, just not via your phone. It still seems stupid though.

    Only explanation I can think of for the music ban is that a CD or radio tends to be a set-and-forget action. Maybe with a phone the temptation to keep picking it up to skips songs or choose new playlists is too great.

    "If you're a learner or a P-plater, you're not allowed to use your phone at all while driving - this includes listening to music, GPS navigation and anything else that uses your phone in any way. Yes it sucks, but you'll have to take that up with the police when they pull you over."

    Hang on. Is it really illegal in NSW for a P-plater to hook their phone up to apple car play before they leave the garage and play music from the phone through Apple Car Play?

    ...these are only legal if you can do them without touching any part of the phone, and if the phone is in a cradle and not obscuring your view.

    This is not correct. It's really "either", rather than "both". You can use your phone for call or audio if it is "in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn't obscure your view of the road" or "can be operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation".
    You can use it as a GPS if it's "in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn't obscure your view of the road".

    So if your phone is in a cradle, you can touch it as long as you're only using it for calls, audio, or as a driving aid.

    Source: http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/mobilephones/know-the-rules.html

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