Roadrule changes Victoria effetive 9th Nov 2009
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New Rules, Safer Roads Exerpt
USING MOBILE PHONES AND VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS
From 9 November 2009, there will be some changes to the road safety rules about using mobile phones and visual display units.
Changes to the new mobile phone rules
The new mobile phone rules have been revised. The change now allows both the navigational (GPS) and audio/music functions of a mobile phone to be used, provided the mobile phone is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle.
Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone.
Using a phone as a GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle.
All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.
Learner and P1 drivers, are prohibited from using a mobile phone at all while driving.
Holding the phone (whether or not engaged in a phone call) is also prohibited. Holding includes resting the mobile on the driver’s lap.
Visual display units
A driver must not drive a vehicle that has a television receiver or a visual display unit operating if any part of the screen is visible to the driver or is likely to distract another driver.
A driver can use a driver’s aid such as a navigation device but it must be an integrated part of the vehicle design, or secured in a commercially designed holder, which is fixed to the vehicle.
The rule relating to securing visual display units does not apply to motorcycles.
Road safety reasons
Using a mobile phone or a visual display unit as you drive is distracting and creates dangerous situations that could be fatal.
The risk of being involved in a crash increases by as much as four times, when using a mobile phone as you drive, and if you are texting the risk of crashing increases to 23 times.
From 9 November 2009 there will be some changes to the road safety rules about child restraints.
The New Rules
All children under seven years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car for improved safety. The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows;
Under the age of six months: to be restrained in a properly fastened and adjusted approved rearward facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule)
From six months to less than the age of four: to be restrained in either a properly fastened and adjusted approved rearward or properly fastened and adjusted approved forward facing child restraint with inbuilt harness (e.g. child safety seat)
From four years to less than the age of seven: to be restrained in either a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness or booster seat restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened seatbelt or child safety harness.
There are also new laws about where children can sit in vehicles;
If a car has two or more rows of seats, then children under four years must not travel in the front seat
If all seats, other than the front seats, are being used by children under seven years, children aged between four and six years (inclusive) may travel in the front seat, provided they use an approved child restraint or booster seat.
VicRoads also recommends
That you have restraints fitted by an approved child restraint fitter.
To find an approved child restraint fitter in your area, see the VicRoads website at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/ChildRestraints
What you have to do
To comply with the new child restraint rules you:
have to know which is the correct child restraint(s) to use
have to ensure that each child passenger is wearing a properly fitted and fastened child restraint or booster seat suitable for their age every time you drive a car.
VicRoads has detailed information on its website about which child restraints are suitable, how they should be fitted and where you can find the right restraints. You can also get advice from organizations such as KidSafe, RACV or your local council.
Road safety reasons
On average, nearly 300 children under the age of seven are injured or killed as passengers in vehicles on Victorian roads each year.
Parents are generally moving their children into adult seatbelts from about the age of five and half years – research suggests this is simply too early.
Children up to seven years are at least four times more likely to sustain a head injury in a crash when sitting in an adult seatbelt only.
Other research shows seating children aged four to seven years old in an appropriate booster seat reduces their risk of injury in a crash by almost 60 per cent, compared to if they were sitting in an adult seatbelt without a booster seat.
Taxis will continue to be exempt from the child restraint requirements. However, parents are encouraged to use their own restraints in taxis where possible. When there is no suitable child restraint available a seatbelt must be worn.
U-TURNS AND OVERTAKING
From 9 November 2009, there will be some changes to the road safety rules about U-turns and overtaking over the centre dividing line, lane lines and painted islands.
Centre Dividing Line
A driver will not be able to overtake, or do a U-turn across a single continuous centre line, or a single continuous line to the left of a broken line.
However a driver can cross over a centre dividing line (except a double continuous centre dividing line) when entering or leaving the road.
A driver must not change lanes over a single continuous lane line.
A driver must not drive over a painted island that is surrounded by a single continuous line. However a driver can drive over the island if they are entering or leaving the road, or entering a turning lane that begins immediately after the painted island.
A driver must not drive over a painted island at a freeway on-ramp. It is also illegal to drive on a painted island that is surrounded by a double line.
What you have to do
Remember that you can only cross a single continuous centre line if you are entering or leaving the road or to avoid an obstruction. You can’t overtake or do a U-turn over a single continuous line or a double continuous line.