Changes to the P plate laws take effect on December 1

P PLATE DRIVER: 17 year old Reilly King takes to the road with his father Adrian who has taught him to be an extra cautious driver (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Fairfax Media)

P PLATE DRIVER: 17 year old Reilly King takes to the road with his father Adrian who has taught him to be an extra cautious driver (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Fairfax Media)

A major crackdown on P-platers will take force on December 1.

Earlier this year, the NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced both red and green P-plate drivers will be banned from using hands-free mobile phones.

Currently, only drivers on their P1 licences or "red Ps" are prohibited from using phones at all while driving, while those who have progressed to their P2 licences, or "Green Ps", are able to use their phones for calls and audio only, providing it is securely mounted or a hands-free device is used.

Under the new rules, all P-plate drivers will be banned from using a mobile phone for any reason while driving or riding.

P-plate drivers will have to buy a navigation device to receive GPS directions while driving under the new mobile phone ban. 

Sergeant Ray McKinnon from Mudgee Highway Patrol has welcomed the changes saying the change to the rules will hopefully prevent P plate drivers from using their mobile phones while driving.

“The road toll needs to be addressed and hopefully these changes will mean P plate drivers will concentrate on the roads.

“We’ve found in the past changes to vehicle capacity for P Platers had a positive impact on the road toll.” 

Meanwhile, P-platers caught speeding will be slapped with a six-month extension on their Ps every time they are suspended.

Other changes include the Hazard Perception Test that red P1 drivers must pass under the current scheme to progress to a P2 licence will be brought forward.

Drivers will need to pass a Hazard Perception Test before they can be awarded their P-plates and begin driving unaccompanied.

The move to boost driving regulations comes after the number of fatal crashes involving young people skyrocketed across Australia last year, to 233.

Mudgee LAC will have an increased presence on the roads in the lead up to the Christmas holidays. 

“We will have additional resources across the Mid Western region during the holiday period targeting mobile phone use, speed and fatigue.” says Sergeant McKinnon.

The phone laws will be effective from December 1, 2016, while the other changes will be introduced from November 1, 2017.

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