New plan for tougher mobile laws while driving

The introduction of tougher mobile phone laws could mean you can’t even touch your devices while driving in Victoria.

It’s clear that mobile phones and drivers don’t mix, but the current laws regulating them are confusing and outdated.

Texting or talking while driving has long been regarded as taboo, but the regulations introduced back in 1999 have not kept up.

“We’re aiming, through this review, to try and come up with some clear rules that the Australian society can work with,” Mandi Mees from the National Transport Commission said.

Mobile phone driving laws: Victorian drivers could be set for tougher mobile phone laws.
Victorian drivers could be set for tougher mobile phone laws. Source: Getty (file pic)

“The technology is changing really quickly so it’s important to have a look at the road rules and develop something that isn’t technology-specific to keep up with the changes,” Elvira Lazar from the RACV said.

Currently, drivers are allowed to use their mobiles for calls, selecting music, and their GPS, providing it is in a cradle.

The Transport Commission says even that is too dangerous, and it’s pushing for a total ban on touching your mobile when driving.

But technology is moving so quickly that mobile phones are just the start of the problem.

Drivers are now becoming distracted by smart watches when behind the wheel.

“So, for example, we have got the ‘Apple smart watch’ where people can put it on their wrist and receive calls and texts while driving,” Ms Mees said.

“That’s unclear in the current Australian road rules.”

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