Changes to road rules

Whether you drive in Victoria everyday or plan on travelling interstate, you should make yourself aware of the new road rules.

On Monday 9 November, uniform road rule changes came into effect across Victoria. Motorists in Victoria will have to acquaint themselves with several new safety measures provided by Vic Roads that will both ensure their safety and, more than likely, confuse a number of people.

The rule change that has garnered the most attention has of course been the change to laws regarding mobile phones and personal navigation systems. From 9 November motorists can no longer hold a mobile phone and talk, or even have it on loudspeaker in their hand or lap. A mobile phone can only be used in an operating motor vehicle if it is in a specifically designed cradle.

Drivers can also only use navigation devices if they are an integrated part of the vehicle design, or secured in a commercially designed holder, which is fixed to the vehicle.

If the above law is broken, motorists face a $234 fine.

The other key rule changes include

· U-Turns: It is now illegal to perform a U-Turn over a single continuous dividing line. Drivers can still however perform U-Turns over broken dividing lines.
· Child Restraints: Under the new rules, any child under seven is required to be in an appropriate child restraint.
· Seatbelts: It is now the responsibility of the driver to ensure all passengers are wearing their seatbelts.
· Driving with Trams: Motorists can only drive past a tram when the tram doors close and pedestrians have fully crossed between the tram and the kerb.
· Parking: Motorists can no longer park within 20 metres of a designated tram stop. Motorists are also prohibited from parking on a slip lane or painted island.

For more rules, further information on the rule changes, the reasons for the rule changes and how the rule changes affect you, visit Vic Roads.