Motorists will lose five demerit points and $337 if caught using mobile phone while driving

Drivers, beware.

Motorists who illegally use a mobile phone while driving in NSW will be docked five demerit points instead of four from Monday, September 17.

During holiday times, the penalty will increase from eight to 10 points.

The fine will not change and will remain at $337 or $448 if detected in a school zone.

Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said illegal mobile phone use is a growing problem in the State and is underreported in road crashes.

“Last financial year over 40,000 people were fined for using a mobile phone while driving and we know around 25 per cent of drivers in NSW admit to doing it.

“At 60km/h, a car travels 33 metres in two seconds, at 100km/h it travels 55 metres. Take your eyes off the road for a few seconds and you continue to travel, virtually blind.

“Such a short lapse of concentration can have significant and devastating consequences and from 2012 to 2017, nine people lost their lives and 50 people were seriously injured because someone was using a mobile phone while driving,” Mr Carlon said.

In a world first, the NSW Government has already passed legislation to support testing of camera-based technology to enforce mobile phone offences in the future.

“This will send the drivers of NSW a clear message that using a mobile phone while driving is potentially deadly and will not be tolerated on NSW roads,” Mr Carlon said.

In the last financial year, more than 40,000 people were fined for using their phone while driving.