The NSW Government has today announced a number of new road safety initiatives, including an increase in demerit points from four to five for illegal mobile phone use while driving.

“We know from a recent RMS survey that 74 per cent of the community supports a crackdown on illegal phone use behind the wheel.  We all see it, and the community has had enough,” Mr Provest said.

“We have already introduced legislation to enable camera-based technology so it can be used to enforce mobile phone offences in the future, a world first.”

Mr Provest said while higher demerit points for illegal phone use will help change the way drivers act on our roads, new road safety campaigns will utilize positive messaging to improve driver behavior.

Changes will also be made to reduce the risk of driving while impaired by prescription drugs.

Driving while affected by medication is a serious offence so more information on the risks and effects of medication will be made available to doctors and their patients.

Doctors will also be given guidance on when a report should be made to the Driver Licensing Authority if there concerns about a patient’s capacity to drive safely on our roads.


  • Demerit point rise from four to five for illegal phone use behind the wheel
  • NSW will have the toughest demerit point penalty for this offence in the country when changes come into effect in September 2018
  • Road Safety Advertising – develop a new strategy to drive campaigns, based on positive messaging
  • Strengthen guidelines for the Opioid Treatment Program, new training for prescribers, new communication about rights and responsibilities for doctors and patients
  • Change to the definition of ‘drug’ in the Road Safety Act to ensure offenders driving while impaired by a broad range of new and emerging drugs can be charged under the influence