WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts announced that the McGowan Government will delay the implementation of the mobile phone fines until 1st, September, 2020 due to Covid19.
The new penalties were suppose to begin on the 1st, June, 2020, but it has been pushed back.
Minister Roberts said drivers who use their phone is equal to “driving with your eyes shut”.
“Texting, emailing, FaceTiming or watching videos while you’re driving is incredibly dangerous,” she said.
”It can be deadly – it’s like driving with your eyes shut. Let’s give the roads our full attention and all drive safer.”
Under the rules, drivers are only allowed to touch their phones if its mounted in a cradle, and only to accept or end a voice call.
On-demand transport drivers will given permission to use to phone as a dispatch system under the law amendments.
From the 1st of September 2020, drivers in WA caught using their phone to make a voice call (when it’s not on a cradle) while driving will receive the $500 fine and three demerit points.
Meanwhile, drivers caught texting, emailing, watching videos, accessing social media or other function will be issued with a $1000 fine and four demerit points.
Although exceptions will be given to on-demand transport drivers to touch their phone to access new jobs on the road, when its safe to do so or if the phone is mounted on a cradle.
However, rideshare drivers cannot accept or decline jobs by touching their phone under these circumstances set the state government.
- in a school zone during the school zone activated period;
- on the freeway;
- on a road with a speed limit of 80kmh or more; or
- in a SLOMO or slow down, move over situation, where a vehicle must slow down to 40kmh to pass an emergency response vehicle with lights activated parked on the side of the road.
Under current laws, drivers on rideshare can only accept or decline new jobs by touchtone phone if their car is safely parked.
Any drivers are allowed to set their phones as navigation before they start their journey, and glance at the screen to follow the route). But it’s illegal to touch the screen, change the route or use other functions other than navigation tool when the car is in motion or stationary but not parked.