Motorists have two days to go hands-free or pay the price

MOTORISTS who fail to go hands-free while at the wheel will from Thursday run the risk of copping a $298 fine and three demerit points.

New laws coming into force make it clear the driver of a moving vehicle or one that's stationary in traffic can only use their hands to pass a phone to a passenger.

Anyone seen by police to hold a phone for any other purpose while driving will be penalised under the new road rules.

Motorists caught with a phone in-hand in school zones will be fined $397 and penalised four licence demerit points.

The new laws have reportedly seen a rise in sales of in-car mobile phone cradles across NSW.

Drivers are permitted to use mobile phones to make or receive calls or use the audio playing function if the phone is secured in a fixed mounting.

Learner or provisional P1 drivers, however can not use any function of a phone (including hands-free) while driving.

Smartphones or GPS units, used as a driver's aid, may only be used if they are secured in a fixed mounting.

The new in-car phone laws announced by Roads and Maritime Services will be introduced along with tougher penalties for other traffic offences. 

The penalty for failing to give way to people on pedestrian crossings will now incur three demerit points and a $298 fine, and four demerit points and a $397 fine in a school zone.

Drivers entering roundabouts and intending to turn either left or right must give sufficient warning to other road users by signalling before the roundabout.

Previously, drivers had to indicate only when entering the roundabout.

Additionally, when exiting a roundabout, drivers must always indicate a left turn just before exiting.

Failure to obey these rules attracts two demerit points and a $165 fine

An illegal U-turn over undivided lines will now cost three demerit points and a $298 fine.

The penalty increases to four points and up to $1191 for heavy vehicles and cyclists can also be fined $66.



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