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New driver distraction rules set for April

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NEW driver distraction rules will come into effect on March 31 under a State Government bid to keep Victorians safe on the roads.

The new rules will extend existing mobile phone rules to modern technology such as in-built devices, wearable and portable devices to help minimise the risk of drivers crashing when distracted.

Probationary and learners are at a higher risk in the first years of driving, therefore stronger rules will apply to them, including not touching portable devices, taking phone calls or using voice control unless parked.

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Motorists caught driving distracted will receive penalties of four demerit points and a $555 fine.

The government is investing $33.7 million as part of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 to introduce new mobile phone and seatbelt detection cameras to identify people on their phones and not wearing seatbelts.

Mobile phone and seatbelt detection technologies involve AI-enabled camera systems that can capture high-resolution images of passing vehicles in all conditions, including poor weather and low light levels.

The new camera technology will function in the coming months, including a three-month period from the techonolgy’s activation before drivers face infrigement and demerit penalties.

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