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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 12:50

Victorian drivers to face tougher texting laws

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If you text and drive you're a 'bloody idiot' and you'll now also face a much harsher penalty in a push from the Victorian state government for tougher texting laws.

The penalty for illegally using a phone while driving will rise almost $150 to $433 from 25 November, as well as four demerit points.

As part of the revamp P-plate drivers will also be completely banned from using their phones at all, and they will incur four of their five demerit points if caught.

"We see this as being the greatest threat to the road toll continuing as a downward trend," Roads Minister Terry Mulder told reporters yesterday.

"Unless we act and act very quickly in this matter, we're going to end up with an epidemic in terms of fatalities and serious accidents out on the road network.

"No message can be that important that's going to cause you the potential to have a serious accident, lose your life or seriously injure or kill someone else."

The new laws should take effect next week, depending on approval from the governor.

VicRoads said it encourages the use of its free “Road Mode” app, which can silence incoming calls and text messages while behind the wheel and informs the caller/sender that the intended recipient is driving.


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