28 November 2013

New Victorian Laws on Phone Use is the Strictest in Australia

 

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Changes to mobile phone rules for probationary drivers and penalties toughened for all mobile phone offences

P1 and P2 drivers

No use of any mobile phone function

Young drivers are over-represented in serious road crashes.

Mobile phones and other mobile devices (eg. DVD players or tablet computers) are major sources of distraction for young drivers, especially as these drivers are still building experience and developing skills.

From 25 November 2013: P2 drivers, as well as P1 and learner drivers, must not use a mobile phone (hand-held or hands-free) for any function while driving (including while stationary but not parked).

Remember, all probationary drivers who reach 5 demerit points may incur a licence suspension.

 

All drivers
Tougher penalties for illegal use of mobile phones and other technologies

From 25 November 2013: All drivers face tougher penalties for illegal use of a mobile phone or interacting with other units that have visual displays while driving (eg. DVD players or tablet computers) that are not driver's aids.

The penalties are:

  • 4 demerit points
  • $433 fine

The rules outlined below are an overview:

Mobile phones

Fully licensed drivers

Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone:

  • is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or
  • can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, and is not resting on any part of the driver's body. Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.

Learner and Probationary drivers

Learner, P1 and P2 drivers, are prohibited from using a mobile phone at all while driving. This includes hands-free and hand-held, and messaging of any kind.

Visual display units/navigational devices/GPS
A driver must not drive a vehicle that has a television receiver or a visual display unit operating if any part of the screen is visible to the driver or is likely to distract another driver.

A driver can use a driver’s aid such as a navigation device but it must be an integrated part of the vehicle design, or secured in a commercially designed holder, which is fixed to the vehicle.

Exemptions
The rule relating to securing visual display units does not apply to motorcycles.

Rule references
Road Safety Road Rules 2009

  • 300 Use of mobile phones
  • 299 Television receivers and visual display units in motor vehicles

To look up these rules and check for other related rules, please refer to the Acts and Regulations administered by VicRoads.