New laws in effect from 1 July around Mobile phone detection cameras in NSW
The changes form part of the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Act 2018 No 15 which allows evidence of mobile phone use from devices approved for detection of mobile phone use, in addition to the existing network of traffic offence cameras, such as bus zone cameras, toll offence cameras, speed cameras, red light cameras, and all be admitted into evidence.
The Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, highlighted in her second reading speech in NSW Parliament, that the changes come from increasing community concern surrounding mobile phone use by drivers. Over a 5-year period on New South Wales roads, seven people were killed, and forty-seven people were seriously injured where mobile phone use while driving was a contributing factor. The Minister also cited research which found that the risk of a motor vehicle accident is doubled when a driver takes their eyes off the road for two or more seconds.
A fine of $330 and 4 demerit points applies to all drivers caught using their mobile phone. The fine increases to $439 if the driver is caught using their mobile phone in a school zone. During periods of double demerits, mobile phone offences will carry a loss of 8 demerit points.
Drivers are still permitted to make and receive phone calls using Bluetooth or similar connectivity technology, so long as it is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle which doesn’t obscure your view of the road or can be operated without touching the phone. Learner and Provisional licence holders are not permitted any type of mobile phone use.
The revenue raised from the camera detection technology will paid into the Community Road Safety Fund, which allows community organisations to develop road safety projects in their local areas.
At Family Focus Legal, we’ve assisted hundreds of clients with traffic law matters. If you or someone you know has a traffic or Court related legal matter, call our office on 02 4655 4224 or send enquiry on the contact us page.