Road Rule Changes

allde
Posts: 747
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Road Rule Changes

Postby allde » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:35 pm

Road rule changes flag limited mobile phone use
Ring in change: Proposed changes to the road rules will make it acceptable to use smartphone-based navigation services, so long as the device is out of reach.

Proposed updates drag Australia’s road laws into the mobile phone age
1 August 2013
By BARRY PARK
AUSTRALIA’S roads watchdog wants your say on changes to road rules that will make it legal to use a smartphone in a car for navigation purposes.

The National Transport Commission has released a package of proposed amendments to national road rules – the 10th time changes to the laws have been mooted – that will help to make Australia’s road use laws more uniform between the states and territories.

One of the key changes to the laws the proposals seek is to allow drivers to refer to a mobile device that is giving navigation directions.

The NTC says it wants to amend the rule governing mobile phone use in cars “to clarify that a person may use a driver’s aid function on a mobile phone, such as a navigational device, provided that the existing requirements are met and the driver does not touch the phone to use the driver’s aid on the mobile phone while driving”.

Under the NTC’s proposal, it would be legal to use a smartphone’s satellite navigation system as long as the driver does not touch the phone. This would allow car-makers to either give the driver voice-activated control over the device, or permit the car-maker to replicate the satellite navigation service on the car’s multimedia screen.

Various other laws come in for minor tweaks to make them more sensible. One proposal is to change the requirement for a motorcyclist to keep his or her feet on the footpegs at all times, and instead recognise that a foot has to touch the ground if the bike is either slowing to a stop, or backing into a space.

Likewise, the proposed changes say a motorcyclist will be able to take both hands off the handlebars when stopped.

Another planned change in recognition that our roads are becoming increasingly clogged would make it legal to stop on a pedestrian crossing if the traffic ahead catches you out.

Shopping centre rules include making it legal to cross a single unbroken line to snare a car park on the other side of the road, and the same thing if you want to cross a painted traffic island.

The NTC also wants the legal definition of a bicycle expanded to include battery-powered versions

Motoring authorities worldwide, including the US-based National Highway and Transport Safety Association are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of in-car distractions that are competing for a driver’s attention, including mobile devices.

The NHTSA last month published a set of guidelines it hopes car-makers will follow to ensure they do not make concentrating on driving more difficult than it is already.

The NTC will accept public submissions on the proposed changes until September 4.

NTC chief executive Paul Retter said the changes were based on advice from the Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group which includes representatives from road agencies and police from each of the state and territories across Australia, as well as a Commonwealth representative.

“Feedback received during the public consultation period will inform the amendment package that will be presented to the ministers from the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure for approval later in 2013,” Mr Retter said.

“It is important to note that, as with all of the rules amendment packages, the amendments in the 10th package will only take effect once they are approved by SCOTI and are adopted into the law of each state and territory.”

The national framework for Australian road rules were introduced in 1999 and contain the basic rules of the road for motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, passengers and other road --and footpath – users, including posties.

Hardy
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Re: Road Rule Changes

Postby Hardy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:08 pm

AUSTRALIA’S roads watchdog wants your say on changes to road rules that will make it legal to use a smartphone in a car for navigation purposes.

It already is legal.
You just put it in a cradle and touch away at google maps.

At the moment there are exceptions to the prohibition on using a mobile phone, including:
(b) the phone is being used to perform a navigational or intelligent highway and vehicle system function in a vehicle that is not a motor bike and the body of the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle while being used; or
(c) the phone is being used to perform a navigational or intelligent highway vehicle system function on a motor bike


In other words it is presently legal to ride a motor bike down the freeway while holding a phone in one hand and gazing at the map app. Just don't do anything stupid like checking the time or the weather or taking a selfie.

The proposal is to prohibit us from touching the iPhone map app while driving, yet they make it sound like they are giving us the option of using maps while driving!

Another planned change in recognition that our roads are becoming increasingly clogged would make it legal to stop on a pedestrian crossing if the traffic ahead catches you out.

I think that is already legal too, if you are talking about pedestrian crossings at intersections.

Shopping centre rules include making it legal to cross a single unbroken line to snare a car park on the other side of the road,

This is presently legal if you are talking about 90º angle parking.

he3at
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:52 pm

Re: Road Rule Changes

Postby he3at » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:58 am

This is presently legal if you are talking about 90º angle parking.

At what angle does it become a U-turn and therefore illegal? 60º? 45º?

Gravy
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 am

Re: Road Rule Changes

Postby Gravy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:49 pm

Road Rules 2009 Dictionary wrote:U-turn means a turn made by a driver so that the driver's vehicle
faces in approximately the opposite direction from which it
was facing immediately before the turn was made, but does
not include a turn made at a roundabout;


So the question then becomes; What is "approximately"?

collinsdictionary.com wrote:approximately: close to; around; roughly or in the region of

region: 1. any large, indefinite, and continuous part of a surface or space


Therefore, if you were to turn your car in a direction that is on a continuous part of the road surface you would be making a U-turn. :mrgreen:

Don't you just love it when the laws that govern us are clear, concise and easy to understand and define? :roll:

Sean: surely 'approximately' has been tested at law in some context?


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