18th Dec 2012 by Admin
The NSW State Government have introduced changes to the NSW road rules affecting the use of visual display units (including GPS and mobile phones), indicating on roundabouts, cycle lanes and behavior near pedestrians. These changes came into effect on 1st November, 2012.
The new laws make it clear that a driver in a moving or stationary vehicle (unless parked) must not hold a phone in their hand other than to pass the phone to a passenger. The only time a driver may use a mobile phone to make or receive call or use the audio function is if:
Learner and Provisional P1 drivers are not permitted to use any function of a phone (including hands-free) while driving.
The penalty for breaking the law is three demerit points and a $298 fine, or four points and $397 in a school zone.
Similarly, the use of GPS devices may only be used if it is secured in a fixed mounting, which must be commercially designed and manufactured for this purpose. The penalty for the inappropriate use of a visual display unit is the same as for the mobile phones.
In addition to these well publicised changes, there are a number of changes to existing road rules in an effort to clarify them. One of these concerns signaling before entering and exiting a roundabout.
Drivers entering roundabouts and intending to turn either left or right must give sufficient warning to other road users by signaling before entering the roundabout. Previously, drivers had to indicate only when entering the roundabout.
Additionally, when exiting a roundabout, drivers must always indicate a left turn just before exiting, whether turning left, right or even straight ahead, unless is it impractical to do so.
Failure to obey these rules attracts two demerit points and a $165 fine.
The full list of all changes that came in effect in November, can be obtained from the Roads and Maritime Service (formerly the RTA) website http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au
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