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Don't touch it!

TOUGH new mobile phone laws for New South Wales motorists have been put in place, igniting debate over whether the Smart State should follow.

The laws prohibit drivers from touching their mobile phone while their car is running, or even handing the phone to a passenger.

Phones are able to be used through a Bluetooth system, provided the motorist does not touch the phone.

Warwick Road Safety Committee chairman Graham Buchner said although he believed the changes were a bit extreme, he would welcome the laws into Queensland.

"That is over the top, but if it is good enough in New South Wales it should be good enough here," he said.

Mr Buchner said he was "dead against" people who text while driving and urged people to pull over to the side of the road to use their phones.

" If an emergency comes up or someone stops in front of you, your eyes aren't on the road."

AG Licensing owner Andrew Gale said he welcomed any moves to crack down on motorists who broke the law in this way.

Mr Gale said the temptation to use the phone was often too hard to resist.

"We have this connectivity and I really don't know how we survived before," he said.

"The pressures of modern life are such that we feel obligated to keep moving, but that must be tempered with the thought that it may be the last thing you do.

"The dangers of a distracted driver are deadly."

Mr Gale said he believed most drivers had broken the law by using their phones at the wheel.

"You do see people pulled over to talk on their phones, but how often do you see it?" he asked.

The legislation changes came into effect in New South Wales on November 1.

Topics:  driving, law, mobile phone, police


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