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To Call or Not to Call…

In Motoring News

By system on Wednesday, 16 February 2011

There are mixed messages from our state police forces and even federal parliament at moment.

In New South Wales police issued more than 1,000 fines to motorists last Wednesday as part of a crackdown on using mobile phones while driving. Forming part of ‘Operation Compliance’ the blitz saw a total of 1199 motorists fined $250, along with the loss of three demerit points. More than half of offenders were caught in the Central Metropolitan region.

A further 502 motorists were detected speeding in school zones during the same operation, with more than 150 of those nabbed in the Northern region. Across the state, 134 infringement notices were issued to motorists committing children’s crossing offences.

The next Operation Compliance will be conducted later in the year in NSW. While most Australian states allow for handsfree calling, it is currently illegal on the west coast to hold a phone conversation while driving, handsfree or otherwise.

However the WA Government will soon introduce new laws that will allow motorists to make handsfree mobile phone calls while driving. The new laws will come into effect on March 1, allowing drivers to make phone calls with a handsfree device, but not use their phones for any other purpose.

Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said that while motorists will now be able to use their phones, the state will continue to discourage their use. “We are making it legal for you to make a call or receive a call, providing your phone is in a fixed holder and you have a hands-free kit”

Ironically, as WA prepares to ease off on its mobile phone laws, a new federal report suggests that more states may soon clamp down on mobile phones, banning on-road calls all together. Presenting the report, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, said that the government’s studies have shown that tough changes need to be made in order to make a real impact on road toll figures.