Demerit points for illegal phone use while driving will increase from four to five from September 2018.
In NSW it is illegal for learner, P1 and P2 licence holders to use a mobile phone while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or struck in traffic.
Fully licensed drivers and riders can only make a call on their phone if it is either in a cradle fixed to the vehicle or operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation. Drivers are not allowed to use their mobiles to text, email, use social media, take photos or video call while driving.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said higher demerit points for illegal phone use will help change the way drivers act on our roads.
“We know from a recent RMS survey that 74 per cent of the community support a crackdown to illegal phone use behind the wheel. We all see it and the community has had enough,” Mrs Pavey said.
“We have already introduced legislation to enable camera-based technology so it can be used to enforce mobile phone offences in the future, a world first.”
Changes will also be made to reduce the risk of driving while impaired by prescription drugs.
Doctors will receive clearer guidelines on whether they should report a patient to a Driver Licensing Authority if they have concerns. Drivers will also be made more aware of the risk and reminded that driving while impaired by medicines is a serious offence.