On Monday, proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act were tabled in Parliament. The new rules will give more teeth to authorities to deal with errant drivers who use mobile devices while driving. These proposed changes come amid a surge in phone-and-drive offences. Last year, 3,572 summonses were issued to motorists for using their mobile devices while driving. In 2012, that number was 2,938.
1. Anyone caught using and holding a mobile device while driving can be found guilty of committing an offence under proposed changes to the Road Traffic Act.
2. Mobile devices covered under this Act include mobile phones and tablets, among other devices.
3. Proposed new rules prohibit drivers from surfing the web, visiting social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and downloading material, in addition to current rules which prohibit drivers from making calls and sending text messages.
4. It is not an offence to use the mobile device if it is mounted on a holder.
5. First-time offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to six months. Repeat offenders face up to double the penalty.