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A new Road Traffic Bill proposed – Drivers guilty – fined $1,000 or imprisoned 12 months.

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Multitasking drivers beware – under a new bill proposed in Parliament yesterday (Monday),it may soon be an offence to use any communicative function of your phone while driving.

Drivers who have been caught for using their mobile phones while driving increased over the past three years and more could be caught under new, stricter rules proposed (Amendment) Bill.

Drivers guilty of such an offence may be fined a maximum of $1,000, imprisoned for up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders will receive a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisoned for up to twelve months, or both. The new rules would apply to tablet computers, not just mobile phones. However, the proposed law only applies if the driver is holding the device in at least one hand, and does not cover the use of such devices while driving, should they be mounted on the dashboard or windscreen of vehicles.

This includes not just calling and texting a person which were an offence in the original bill, but surfing the internet and downloading material have been included. 

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Other proposed changes to the bill include allowing drivers to attend a voluntary corrective training course called the Safe Driving Course allowing those with half or more of their maximum allowable demerit points to remove three demerit points should they pass.

Foreigners holding work passes who need to drive as part of their job must also obtain a local driving license, within six months of the pass being issued.

Drivers will also be held responsible for providing particulars to the owner of any vehicle or structure damaged, following an accident.

USA

In September 2010, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on distracted driving fatalities for 2009. The NHTSA considers distracted driving to include some of the following as distractions: other occupants in the car, eating, drinking, smoking, adjusting radio, adjusting environmental control, reaching for object in car, and cell phone use. In 2009 in the U.S. there was a reported 5,474 people killed by distracted drivers. Of those 995 were considered to be killed by drivers distracted by cell phones.

motorists who are caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will have three penalty points added to their license in addition to the fine of £60.

Japan 

Prohibits all mobile phone use while driving, including use of hands-free devices.

mobile japan

A sign along Bellaire Boulevard inSouthside Place, Texas (Greater Houston) states that using mobile phones while driving is prohibited from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM and from 2:00 PM to 4:15 PM

UK

 Since 1 December 2003 it has been illegal to drive in the UK while using a hand held mobile phone

A debate over whether or not the £30 fixed penalty notice was enough of a deterrent. Although more than 75,000 penalty notices were given out in 2004, many drivers still blatantly flouted the law and it was decided that the fine was not effective enough. From 27 February 2007 it doubled to £60 (rising to up to £1000 should the case be taken to court), and driving while using a hand-held mobile phone became an endorsable offence, with 3 Penalty Points added to the offender’s licence.

Ok, so what exactly is the law now?

The law states that it is illegal to ride a motorbike or drive a car while you are using a hand held communication device. Hands free phones may be used, but they are ultimately a distraction and you are still open to a charge of careless driving should a police officer think you are driving poorly while using one.

What is a ‘Hand Held Communication Device’?

A hand held device is something that must at some point be held in your hand while you are making or receiving a voice call or other form of communication. It includes PDAs that can be used to download emails, text messages, picture messages etc . Basically to stay on the safe side of the law, any hand held device that has a communication function is best avoided while driving.

Hands-free car kit

Can I use a hands free phone?

Yes you can. you are allowed to push buttons for example on a steering wheel control column, but not to hold the phone. so make sure it’s in a cradle which is attached to your dash board and can be operated remotely.

penalty for using a hand held phone while driving – a Euro 60 fine and 3 penalty points.

Are there any exemptions?

If you are in a genuine emergency situation and it would be unsafe for you to stop, there is an exemption in place that allows motorists to call the emergency services while driving.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phones_and_driving_safety

http://www.nopenaltypoints.co.uk/thelawandusingyourmobilephonewhiledriving.html

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