IT SEEMS Orange residents are heeding the message not to use a mobile phone while driving, with retailers experiencing a spike in sales of hands-free car kits.
Owner of Autobarn in Orange Peter Cheney, said there has been a big demand for the kits with drivers wanting to ensure they keep their licence and don’t incur a heavy fine.
“I think in some ways the industry wasn’t prepared for the response to the new laws as some outlets have had difficulty getting enough stock,” he said.
“We’ve just had a real run on the kits and have been working hard to keep the supply up,” he said.
“I think people have just realised with these changes they don’t want to lose the points and the fine is pretty heavy,” Mr Cheney said.
Inspector Bruce Gressick of Orange police said it is encouraging to see so many people are responding to the new laws.
Under the new legislation drivers caught using a mobile while driving will lose three points from their licence and be fined $298.
“It is a good thing people are taking measures because mobile phones are a real distraction when driving,” he said.
However Inspector Gressick said drivers need to be aware the penalties for driving in a school zone are even tougher.
If you are caught using your mobile phone in a school zone you will incur a fine of $397 and incur a loss of four points from your licence.
Under the changes to the law drivers can only make or receive a call if the phone is either secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle or operated without touching the phone, such as Bluetooth technology.
Texting and emailing while driving is illegal, even if the phone is secured in a cradle.
Police in the region are working to provide statistics on the number of people who have been fined and lost points from their licences since the new laws were introduced.