New road safety measures will see an increase in demerit points from four to five for illegal mobile phone use while driving.
The chances have been announced by minister for roads, Melinda Pavey and Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.
The changes follow a commitment at the launch of the road safety plan 2021 in February to review penalties, develop new road safety advertising and introduce safeguards to improve driver safety in relation to alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs.
Ms Pavey said higher demerit points for illegal phone use will help change the way drivers act on the road.
“We know from a recent RMS survey that 74 per cent of the community support a crackdown to illegal phone use behind the wheel,” she said.
“We all see it and the community has had enough.
“We have already introduced legislation to enable camera-based technology so it can be used to enforce mobile phone offences in the future, a world first.”
The increase in demerit points for illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel will make it the toughest demerit point penalty for this offence in the country when changes come into effect in September 2018.
In addition to this change, road safety advertising will develop a new strategy to drive campaigns based on positive messaging.
The guidelines for the opioid treatment program will be strengthened, and additional training will be implemented for prescribers. There will also be new communication about rights and responsibilities for doctors and patient
The definition of ‘drug’ in the Road Safety Act will be revised to ensure offenders driving while impaired by a broad range of new and emerging drugs can be charged under the influence.
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