Australia toughens mobile phone driving laws

New South Wales law would make it illegal for driver to have any physical contact with device while driving.
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2012 08:08

One Australian state has made it illegal for drivers to have any physical contact with a mobile phone while driving.

The law in New South Wales is unique because a motorist no longer has to have the phone in their hands to be considered an infraction.

In an aim to reduce distractions while driving, the new law now requires phones to be placed in a holder on the dashboard or be on bluetooth through the car's speakers.

However, Simon Washington, professor at Queensland University of Technology, tells Al Jazeera the law will be "absolutely difficult to enforce".

Pointing to recent statistics, 70 per cent of surveyed drivers in Australia said they use their mobile phones on a regular basis while operating a vehicle, says the law "sends the right message" that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, but that it offers a "short-sighted view" of the solution.

Washington says the best possible solution is to force people to engage through audio technology with their phone.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.


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