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.