Drivers warned of new road laws that pack a sting

Victorian drivers warned to follow new road laws for mobile phones, seatbelts, parking and crossing single lanes

November 6, 2009

Victorian drivers are being warned to follow new road laws from next week or face demerit points and fines.

The new laws apply to mobile phone usage, seatbelts, crossing single lines and parking and the RACV says drivers need to be informed and alert.

The RACV’s Peter Daly says the new rules mean a mobile phone can be used for phone calls or as a music player only if it is completely hands free or in a commercially-designed cradle. The phone can be used as a GPS only if it is in a commercially-designed cradle.

"If the phone is in a commercially-designed cradle you can touch the keys to answer a call or dial a number otherwise you cannot touch the phone or have it sitting in your lap," Daly says.

"However, you can touch hands-free or Bluetooth units when using the phone to make or receive calls."

Changes to lines on roads mean that road users can only cross a single continuous dividing line if leaving or entering the road or to avoid an obstruction.

Road users cannot overtake or do a u-turn over a single continuous dividing line or change lanes across a single continuous lane line.

"These rules make a lot of sense and are designed to make the roads safer for all users. It’s a responsibility all of us share and one we should take seriously," Daly says.

Under the changes, drivers can no longer park in a slip lane or on a painted island.

Heavy or long vehicles are also banned from parking on a road in a built-up area for longer than one hour unless parking signs indicate otherwise or the driver collecting or delivering goods.

There are also changes to child restraints and a limit on how old a child must be to sit in the front of a vehicle.

All children under seven years must use a child restraint or booster seat suited to their age when travelling in a car and cannot travel in the front seat if there are two or more rows of seats.

Drivers must also take responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing a seatbelt or the correct restraint.

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