Revised NSW road rules will heavily penalise drivers caught using their phone

texting while driving

In a bid to make Australian roads safer, the New South Wales government is introducing tougher laws to crackdown on motorists driving under the influence of drugs and those caught using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

In addition to installing new tech in traffic cameras that automatically detect phones, NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey has announced that, from September this year, drivers will cop five demerit points for the illegal use of mobile phones while on the road. Drivers are allowed to us their phones for calls, music and navigation only, if the device is on a cradle. However, learner, P1 and P2 drivers aren’t allowed to use a phone at all.

Along with the addition of stringent rules for phone use while driving, the NSW government is introducing legislation to Parliament to broaden the definition of “drug use” to encompass “a broad range of new and emerging drugs”, which will include both illicit and prescription drugs.

The state government is also planning to introduce changes to the Opioid Treatment Program which could force doctors to report patients to the Driver Licensing Authority if there are any concerns about their ability to drive while under the influence of prescription drugs.

An advertising campaign will be launched to inform the public about the impact of prescription medication on drivers.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.