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Monday, 25 November 2013 11:14

Vic drivers face tough new texting laws

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Victorian drivers who text while driving will face big fine increases, which come into effect today.

The new laws will mean a $433 fine and four demerit points for mobile phone use while driving, compared with the previous penalty which was three demerit points and a $289 fine.

The new laws also include a clampdown on young drivers; the ban on learner and first year licence holders using handheld or hands free mobile phones now extending to include motorists in the second, third and fourth years of their probationary licence.

There will also be tougher penalties across the board for using visual display units including MP3 players, tablets, DVDs and laptops, which will attract the same penalties as using a mobile phone.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill told reporters mobile phones were a big contributor towards the state's road toll.

"I find it remarkable that so many people think they are above the law and that they are somehow immune to the risks caused by distraction," he said.

"Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds while driving at 50km/h means you are travelling for 27 metres effectively blind."


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