Phone ban for all P-platers comes into effect from today | Quiz

STAY OFF THE PHONE: Provisional P2 licence holders Jack Callan and Amelia Prince said they supported the new changes- starting December 1- which prevent any phone use while driving. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

STAY OFF THE PHONE: Provisional P2 licence holders Jack Callan and Amelia Prince said they supported the new changes- starting December 1- which prevent any phone use while driving. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Motorists on their P-plates will be unable to use any function on their mobile phone while driving, such as the GPS or listening to music, from Thursday when new laws begin.

The changes for those on a Provisional P2 licence have been introduced by the NSW government to increase road safety. 

P-Plater Jack Callan said he mostly agreed with the changes.

“If you’re looking down at your phone you’re not really looking at the road, if someone steps out you could flatten them,” Mr Callan said.

Amelia Prince, who is also on her Provisional P2 licence, said it was a good time of year for the changes to be brought in, as there would be more traffic on the roads across the holiday period.

The same laws apply to Learner and Provisional P1 drivers, and by expanding it to green P-Platers, Ms Price said it would hopefully encourage people to continue the ‘hands off’ policy after they got their full licence. 

If you’re looking down at your phone you’re not really looking at the road, if someone steps out you could flatten them. - Jack Callan

However, Mr Callan admitted not everyone would agree with the new laws.

“There’ll be a lot of people who will be against it. People who think the world revolves around their phones,” he said.

The changes have been welcomed by Dubbo Regional Council road safety officer Jayne Bleechmore.

“A phone is a real distraction to inexperienced drivers,” Ms Bleechmore said.

Travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, if someone takes their eyes off the road for just two seconds, they’ve travelled 55.56 metres.

Eliminating the distraction was a step in the right direction towards bringing the road toll down to zero, Ms Bleechmore said.

There were 193 young drivers aged between 17 and 25-years-old killed on NSW roads between 2011 and 2015. Drivers under the age of 25 accounted for 15 per cent of the drivers, but 33 per cent of the annual road fatalities, Ms Bleechmore said.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the motoring group backed the changes – even if it meant P-platers could no longer use the GPS component in their phone to give them directions.

Mr Khoury said while older drivers could be distracted by using hands-free mobile phones in the car, the organisation did not support extending the blanket ban to full-licence holders.

“You cannot be in the passenger seat with people for their whole driving life. People need to demonstrate they have the maturity,” he said.

In NSW, the penalty for a driver using their phone illegally is four demerit points, increased earlier this year from three points.

Ms Bleechmore said changes to Learner, P1 and P2 driving rules were constantly changing and being updated to increase safety.

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