The holiday season is fast approaching and the team at Foulsham & Geddes would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and prosperous New Year.
Driving during holiday season
The holiday season means everyone will be driving a lot more – visiting family and friends. Before we get to the main article (using mobile phones whilst driving), can we just say this: every January we get lots of enquiries for assistance from people who have been charged with a PCA (drink driving) offence. As much as we appreciate the work, we would prefer that you and those around you were travelling safely. Putting the obvious dangers to one side, dealing with a PCA charge is an enormous and expensive headache. There are alternatives to drink driving!
If you intend to be driving this Christmas and if you have a habit of using your mobile phone while driving then please read on, and take note….
Drivers cannot at any time use their mobile phones to text, email, use social media or take photos. You cannot touch your phone with any part of your body. In NSW, the word “use” in relation to a mobile phone while driving means;
– turning the phone on or off
– holding the body of the phone in your hand (except when passing it to a passenger)
– entering or placing anything into the phone
-sending or looking at anything that is in the phone; or
-operating any other function of the phone
Learner drivers and provisional P1 licence holders (i.e. Red P platers) are not permitted at any time to use a mobile phone any any time while driving (or riding). This includes even when at traffic lights or stuck in traffic – there is no exception. If you wish to use your mobile phone for any reason, you must be parked and out of the line of traffic.
For fully licenced, provisional P2 (i.e. green P platers) and cyclists, drivers however may “use” their mobile phone only IF it is in a cradle affixed to the vehicle (which cradle must not obscure the drivers’ vision of the road) and only if it can be used without touching any part of the phone.
These drivers can
– make or answer a call
– use the audio function to play music; or
– use it as a driver’s aid for example, as a GPS
Drivers guilty of any these offences will be targeted and instantly be fined and lose demerit points.
The current penalty for drivers using their mobile phone include a fine of $319 plus 3 demerit points. The fine is $425 plus 4 demerit points while driving in a school zone.
From 2016, offenders will lose an extra demerit point for using their mobile phones while driving. This means offenders will lose 4 points for any driving offence and 5 points if in a school zone.
From Midnight on 24th December, 2015 mobile phone offences will be included in the “double demerit periods”. This means if you are caught driving and using a mobile phone, you will be fined $638 and you will lose 6 demerit points.
Drive carefully and ring if you need us only when you are at home or walking!….
If you or anyone you know are charged with drink driving offences, please contact our Sydney lawyers today on 02 9232 8033 to book an initial consultation.