NSW drivers commit 1,200 mobile phone offences in one day

Date: Sep 10, 2017

NSW Police have issued a stark warning to drivers following a spate of mobile phone offences across the state.

A staggering 1,205 phone infringements were handed out in a single day on Wednesday (September 6) as part of a clamp down on dangerous driving during Operation Compliance 4.

Mobile phone misuse was the most common offence, but many more were recorded. Failing to wear a seatbelt resulted in 358 people receiving warnings, while 156 infringements were issued to drivers for hazardous overtaking practices.

Cyclists and motorcyclists didn't escape officers' clutches, with 1,478 individuals cautioned for not wearing a helmet.

Drivers warned to be careful

Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy warned drivers of the potential dangers associated with poor behaviour behind the wheel.

"Using a phone while driving and not keeping left while overtaking not only puts a driver at risk, it puts their passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk of death or serious injury," he explained.

"Everyone by now must know the risks to personal safety, yet I am still baffled to see over 500 people fined in one day for not wearing a helmet or seatbelt."

He noted that 262 people have already lost their lives on NSW roads this year and urged drivers to take full responsibility for their actions.

Assistant Commissioner Corboy added that many of the infringements issued on Wednesday were for "common sense" offences that everyone should be aware of.

What are the mobile phone rules in NSW?

The restrictions for using a mobile phone while driving are different depending on the experience of the person behind the wheel.

Learner, P1 and P2 licence holders are not allowed to use their phones at all while driving, even when they are stopped at a traffic light, according to guidance from Transport for NSW.

Fully licensed drivers and motorcyclists, as well as all regular cyclists, can use a mobile to make and answer calls, listen to music and assist their driving. However, the device must either be in a cradle that is fixed to the vehicle or being operated through hands-free equipment or voice activation.

Last year, Minister for Roads Duncan Gay announced double demerit points for drivers caught using a mobile while driving.

"I am not a fan of Draconian fines but we need to see these stats go down and if this doesn't deter motorists, then I'll hit them in the hip pocket," he stated.

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