As of July 1, changes to road rules in Victoria saw the penalties for using a mobile phone while riding a bike brought into line with car drivers.
While it has long been illegal for a bike rider to use a phone while riding, police now have the ability to issue infringement notices which include an $476 on-the-spot fine.
It’s worth noting that unlike drivers, bike riders can not be issued with demerit points for using a mobile phone. Specifically the law states changes states that people who ride bikes cannot use a "hand held phone" while riding. However, the law leaves room for an exception.
"Exceptions to the new law will apply if the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the bicycle, not being held by the rider, or used to perform a navigational or intelligent highway vehicle system function."
According to the VicRoads website, in order to use a phone as a navigational device/GPS, to receive phone calls or to use its audio/music functions, it must be secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the bicycle.
An independent report recently published by VicRoads to improve cycling safety found that cyclists and drivers do not currently feel safe on the roads. VicRoads hopes that by bringing in a new law, it will ultimately reduce the number of incidents on the road.
“Whether you’re driving a car or riding a bike — you shouldn’t be on your phone — so we’re giving police the power to issue an on-the-spot fine when they catch riders doing the wrong thing,” Mr Donnellan said.
“We hope that by bringing this fine into line with the penalty for car drivers, we’ll stop the dangerous and potentially deadly practice of cyclists using their phones while riding.”
The updated Cycling Road Rules for Victoria:
Avoid on the spot fines for mobile use
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Not only is it lightweight, it’s incredibly easy to use and most importantly helps removes the temptation to hold your phone while pedalling. For more info, check out our bike kits here.