Motorists will not be allowed to touch mobile phones while driving unless the phones are secured, under new road rules which come into effect today.
The tighter regulations are part of a number of revisions the NSW government has made to the state’s road rules.
From today, drivers in a moving or stationary (but not parked) car face a $298 fine and a loss of three demerit points if they are caught making a phone call or sending a text while their mobile phone is not in a fixed mounting or if they are not using hands-free technology.
The penalties will rise to a $397 fine and four demerit points in a school zone.
Roads and Maritime Services Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast said last month that the new laws were designed to further discourage people using their phones while driving.
"Holding your mobile phone while talking and driving is already illegal but these changes will mean you cannot touch your phone unless it is mounted," Ms Prendergast said.
"Using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, because it slows reaction times and increases the chance of having a crash."
Under the new rules drivers will also be banned from using a GPS unless it is secured in a fixed mounting and will be required to signal when exiting, as well as entering, a roundabout.
Motorcyclists who carry an animal on their motorbikes face a fine $397 and a loss of three demerit points.
Ms Prendergast said most of the changes were minor and simply clarified existing road rules.
For more information on the new regulations see www.rms.nsw.gov.au.