Legal

Wed, 23 Jan, 2019Courtney Allan

The gaping loophole in Australia’s mobile phone laws

The gaping loophole in Australia’s mobile phone laws

Everyone knows not to text and drive. However, under the current Australian laws in place, drivers are able to touch their phones to make calls, play music or use GPS directions as long as they use a hands-free device.

But the National Transport Commission isn’t happy with this loophole and wants clearer laws and certain devices banned from being used while driving – and the devices include smart watches.

NTC acting chief executive Dr Geoff Allan said the rules haven’t changed since 1999 and needed to be updated.

“We recognise that driver distraction from technology and other factors is a safety risk, but it is not as well understood as other factors such as drink driving and speeding,” Dr Allan explained. 

As for why certain devices need to be banned from use while driving, Allan says that’s clear.

“The road rules are silent on which behaviours associated with distraction should be avoided or minimised. It is also not clear whether the use of newer technologies, like wearable devices, are regulated by the existing road rules,” Dr Allan raised. 

Mandi Mees from the NTC has also explained the reasons as to why a review needs to be done in the first place.

“We’re aiming, through this review, to try and come up with some clear rules that the Australian society can work with,” Mees revealed. 

Do you think wearable devices like smart watches should be banned while driving? Let us know in the comments.

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