Transport NSW hopes new mobile phone laws for provisional drivers will reduce fatalities and make roads safer for all drivers.
The NSW Government has decided to implement the new laws following a four per cent increase between 2014 and 2015 in fatal crashes involving P-plate drivers.
NSW Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said that because P-platers have less experience than fully licensed drivers, they are 60 per cent more likely to be involved a fatal crash.
“Mobile phones pose a higher risk for inexperienced drivers than a purpose-built GPS as there is the temptation to use it for other functions,” Mr Carlon said.
Mobile phone laws for provisional 1 drivers have always been in place, preventing them from using mobile phones completely, but will now extend to include provisional 2 drivers, who were previously able to use their device for hands-free and GPS.
The reason behind such strict laws is so inexperienced drivers concentrate only on the task of driving, which keeps themselves and other drivers safe.
High school teacher, Jodie Gibbons has experienced an accident involving a P-plater and the use of a mobile device, and thinks that the use of a phone illegally is irresponsible and changes to the laws will be of benefit to all road users.
“Young people often think of themselves as invincible but are unaware of the potential dangers and risks on the roads,” she said.
There’s no doubt some young people will be unhappy, but for the wellbeing of other drivers it was crucial Transport NSW put these in place.
P-plater Mitchell Hughes says that although it will be difficult to adapt to the changes, it means less distractions while driving.
“It’s going to be a bit of a pain to not be able to use GPS, but in the long run it’s definitely going to make the roads a lot safer,” Mr Hughes said.
The new laws will be in place from December.