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Old 05-08-2002, 19:50   #1 (permalink)
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Read Driving and using your mobile: lose three points

From SMH

There's a new penalty for people whose urge for immediate communication is stronger than the ability to look for a break in traffic and pull over to the side of the road: three demerit points.

Announcing a string of tougher penalties for unsafe drivers, the Government yesterday introduced demerit points for people using their mobile phones while driving.

Adopting submissions from the Pedestrian Council of Australia, the Transport Minister, Carl Scully, nearly doubled the fine for driving while phoning to $220.

Telstra research shows one in three drivers make a call from behind the wheel at least once a week, while 49 per cent will answer the phone if it rings.

Nearly one in five will tap out an SMS message.


Despite 85 per cent of people in an NRMA survey believing mobile phone-using drivers were at high risk of a crash, and British studies showing their reaction times were worse than drink-drivers at 0.08, 42,000 NSW motorists have been caught in the past four years.

''Using a hand-held mobile phone is dangerous and unacceptable," said Mr Scully. ''That's why, from July 1, if you value your licence you won't be doing it any more."

The chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, Harold Scruby, said demerit points were the most equitable way of penalising drivers breaking the law. ''They treat the rich and poor alike and assist in getting bad and dangerous drivers off our roads and changing their behaviour," he said.

Among other changes to take effect from July 1 are increased fines for approaching a pedestrian or children's crossing too quickly, not obeying a hand-held stop sign, or not stopping or giving way at crossings. Fines for those offences have been increased from $211 to $320.

Mr Scully said it has been illegal to drive with a mobile phone since 1989.

''Drivers using hand-held mobile phones have 30 per cent slower reaction times and miss more road safety signs than a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08," he said.

Drivers cannot use their mobiles while the vehicle is moving or stopped at lights. It is legal to make a call if the driver is parked, even if the engine is running, according to a spokeswoman for Mr Scully.
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Old 05-08-2002, 20:00   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Driving and using your mobile: lose three points

Quote:
Originally posted by Falchoon

Drivers cannot use their mobiles while the vehicle is moving or stopped at lights. It is legal to make a call if the driver is parked, even if the engine is running, according to a spokeswoman for Mr Scully
So does that mean - if you break down, you can lose points and get fined if you call the NRMA???
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Old 05-08-2002, 20:03   #3 (permalink)
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If you are broken down, is your engine running?
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Old 05-08-2002, 20:10   #4 (permalink)
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well - it does say "parked".
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Old 05-08-2002, 20:38   #5 (permalink)
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Doesnt it say it is "legal" to make a call while parked, even if engine is running ?
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Old 05-08-2002, 20:47   #6 (permalink)
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Speaking from experience it IS possible to be fined for doing the right thing and pulling over to answer your mobile phone. A few years ago my phone rang as I was driving so I did the right thing and pulled over to answer it. The car was still running. I noticed a police car pull up behind me and a police officer hopped out and approached my window, I opened the window and she said she had to fine me as I was in a no standing zone

So my advice is if you are going to do the right thing, make sure you look out for signs in the spot you pull over.

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Old 05-08-2002, 21:36   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Discovery
Speaking from experience it IS possible to be fined for doing the right thing and pulling over to answer your mobile phone. A few years ago my phone rang as I was driving so I did the right thing and pulled over to answer it. The car was still running. I noticed a police car pull up behind me and a police officer hopped out and approached my window, I opened the window and she said she had to fine me as I was in a no standing zone

So my advice is if you are going to do the right thing, make sure you look out for signs in the spot you pull over.

That really sucks. He should've told to you move along.

I wonder if this law applies to CB radios as well. Means the cops will have to pull over (in legal zone) to have a yarn with their colleagues. Truckies, too.

I always ignore my phone while driving, unless I'm expecting a call and then I'll have the hands-free hooked up so I can stick it in my ear.

EDIT: I meant CB radios, not CD radios. Dyslexia ownz meee...
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Old 05-08-2002, 23:50   #8 (permalink)
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No the coppers are allowed to use there mobiles while driving
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Old 05-09-2002, 05:41   #9 (permalink)
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I usually just answer it and tell the person i'll call them later or have a VERY short conversation. At night, first few seconds after answering are riskiest as the damn blue screen in 8250 lights up your head to give the game away to any passing cops!
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Old 05-09-2002, 07:14   #10 (permalink)
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Hands free kits are the answer, although I still think it can be difficult negotiating stressful driving conditions whilst trying to have a conversation. If I have a passenger(s) in the car and I'm talking, I'll often stop mid-sentence (or, if I'm not talking, I effectively stop listening) if I encounter any situation that requires extra than 'normal' concentration.
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