Everyone knows that it is illegal to text or use your phone while driving with an on-the-spot fine the result but it seems that the law has not been as strict for cyclists in Victoria. The Victorian State Government have now changed this, bringing the penalty for using a hand-held device while riding into line with that as for driving.

From Saturday, cyclists who use a hand-held phone while riding may be slugged an on-the-spot fine of $476. Currently police have had to charge rider with the offence then prosecute that in court for a fine to be issued, making it difficult for the police to enforce this law.

The change is based on a VicRoads report released last week that recommended on-the-spot fines be introduced. They found that in the ten years from 2004 to 2013 there were 29,181 crashes involving cyclists resulting in 84 fatalities and 4500 people seriously injured.

Police and the government hope the new deterrent will stop the “potentially deadly practice of cyclists using their phones while riding”. It is important to not that riders can be issued with a fine for using their mobile phone even while stationary unless they are parked. What constitutes a bike being parked as opposed to just stationary is unclear but I am assuming that parked would mean it is off the road.

There is an exception if you are using the phone while it is mounted to the bike and not in the rider’s hand and is being used as a GPS device. In case you were unsure, using your device at all while driving or riding is a distraction from the task at hand and is not just costly for the hip pocket if caught but is also very dangerous not just for you but others on the road.

Source: The Age.
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    Glenn Thomson
    Glenn Thomson
    2 years ago

    While they are at it. Start charging them a rego fee. Using up valuable road space they should pay for the privilege.

    Really
    Really
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Glenn Thomson

    I pay rego on two cars already and cycle!!

    Look at it another way, if the hundreds if not thousands of people who commute to the CBD daily by bike decided to go by car instead to get the “most value” out of the annual rego they pay on the cars they leave at home, would that help?

    Bashing of any type gets motorists and cyclists alike precisely nowhere.

    Glenn Thomson
    Glenn Thomson
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Really

    Just because you pay rego on two cars (Because you are required to by law) doesn’t mean you should get a ‘free ride’ on a bike. You take up the same space as a motorbike, and in many cases cause traffic to build up because its unsafe to pass on your slow speeds.
    As because you don’t agree with me you say I am ‘bashing’… give me a break! User pays… simple as that!

    Really
    Really
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Glenn Thomson

    Interesting, what should the rego for bikes be set at – the same as cars? The same as motorbikes.

    Whilst we are on the subject should cylists pay a lower medicare levy as they are fitter and less likely to be a burden on the health system than say a smoker or heavy drinker?

    Just sayin!!!

    No need to answer, at least we can agree on this being a great website for all things Android!!

    Russ cook
    Russ cook
    2 years ago

    “The change is based on a VicRoads report released last week that recommended on-the-spot fines be introduced. They found that in the ten years from 2004 to 2013 there were 29,181 crashes involving cyclists resulting in 84 fatalities and 4500 people seriously injured.”

    Yes and how many were a) the cyclists fault and b) linked to use of a mobile phone?

    Without any relevant context this quote by VicRoads is useless information.

    Phill Edwards
    Phill Edwards
    2 years ago

    All the research shows that most accidents involving cyclists are the fault of the car driver. The focus should be on driver attitudes rather than making new laws to penalise cyclists with punishments way out of proportion to the misdemeanor.