On November 1, several changes to NSW road rules came into effect across the state. While most of these were small, the NSW Centre for Road Safety is reminding motorists to make sure that they understand the new laws.
Drivers have a responsibility to comply with regulations when they are behind the wheel. Police officers will not be accepting ‘ignorance’ as an excuse for noncompliance.
Fortunately the updated laws are explained in detail on the Roads and Maritimes Services website. Officials are urging motorists to visit this site and brush up on their knowledge.
“We encourage all road users to visit the Roads and Maritime Services website so they are across the recent changes,” Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast said in a statement issued November 2.
Some drivers may be wondering why changes were implemented in the first place. According to Ms Prendergast, reviewing and updating the road rules is something that needs to happen regularly to ensure they are effective.
“Changes to the NSW road rules are required from time to time to implement Australian Road Rules changes in the interest of uniformity and safety,” Ms Prendergast said.
In addition, she explained that most changes were minor.
“While there are about 350 road rules, fewer than 50 rules have been changed and most of these changes are just clarifying the initial intent of laws created many years ago,” she added.
One of the main law amendments was in relation to driving while using a mobile phone. For many years, this practise has been illegal, yet drivers have found their way around the law by holding a mobile phone between their neck and ear or sending text messages from their lap.
Under the new laws effective November 1, drivers are now only allowed to touch their mobile phone under two specific circumstances: that it is mounted in a cradle, or that they are passing it to a passenger.
People are also allowed to use their phones if equipped with hands free technology such as Bluetooth.
Other changes include amendments to the rules surrounding indicating at roundabouts and to the rules for giving way to pedestrians.
Ms Prendergast said that “most of these changes are minor adjustments to laws which have existed for more than ten years.”
If you are a motorist in NSW, then it is in your best interests to visit the Roads and Maritime Services website and familiarise yourself with these laws.
Noncompliance could lead to accidents. If you are ever the victim of someone else’s negligence on the roads, then you may be eligible for car accident compensation. There are lawyers in Sydney who can help you make claim.