Green light for harsh mobile phone fines from today

Bunbury Herald
This driver was caught on his mobile phone while taking off from a set of lights.
Camera IconThis driver was caught on his mobile phone while taking off from a set of lights. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Bunbury drivers should keep their eyes on the road and their phones packed away from today, with the introduction of harsher new penalties for mobile phone use while driving.

The new penalties will see a $1000 fine and four demerit points for creating, sending or looking at a text, email, social media, photo or video and $500 fine and three points for touching or holding a phone to make, receive or end a call — an increase from $400.

Drivers must legally park their vehicles and turn the motor off before they can hold a mobile phone, as police include being stationary with the motor running road side or at stop lights in the definition of driving.

Phones may be used for GPS purposes while driving if it is secured in a mounting and the driver does not touch it while travelling to the destination, according to the Road Safety Commission.

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