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On 30 November 2009, there will be some changes to the road rules about using mobile phones and visual display units.
From 1 February 2010, the monetary penalty for illegally using a mobile phone while driving will increase from $110 to $300. This is in addition to the increase in the demerit point penalty, from 2 to 3 points, that came into effect in November 2009.
Using a mobile phone while driving is banned except to make or receive a phone call provided the phone:
All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.
Holding the phone (whether or not engaged in a phone call) is also prohibited. 'Holding' includes resting the mobile on the driver's lap, or between the chin and shoulder or passing the phone to a passenger.
The demerit point penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving will increase from 2 to 3
Visual display units (VDUs)
A driver must not drive a vehicle that has a television receiver or a visual display unit (VDU) operating if any part of the screen is visible to the driver or is likely to distract another driver.
A driver can use a driver's aid such as a navigation device but it must be an integrated part of the vehicle design, or secured in a commercially designed holder, which is fixed to the vehicle.
The rule relating to securing visual display units does not apply to motorcycles, if the VDU is a driver's aid.
Road safety reasons
Using a mobile phone or a visual display unit as you drive is distracting and creates dangerous situations that could be fatal.
The risk of being involved in a crash increases by as much as four times, when using a mobile phone as you drive, and if you are texting the risk of crashing increases to 23 times.