Changes to the existing road rules around Australia include increases to licence fees, registration fees and hefty fines hikes.
New laws are being brought in across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, but the biggest changes are set to affect drivers in the Northern Territory where the fine for using a phone while driving is being doubled.
RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said a raft of amendments are set to occur in Queensland on July 1.
‘Once again drivers will be paying more to renew their licences and they’ll be out of pocket more to keep their vehicles registered. The cost of a driver licence will increase to as much as $180.70 for a five year licence,’ Ms Hunter said.
She also said the penalty unit is increasing by 2.25 per cent as of July 1 – making fines across the board more costly.
‘Don’t say you weren’t warned, the cost of breaking the law like speeding or hooning just got more expensive,’ she said.
In New South Wales, one of the major changes are new drink driving laws introduced on May 20 this year.
The new rules ensure an automatic three month license suspension and a fine of $561 for first time low range drink drivers.
Similarly, first time offenders who are caught driving while on illicit drugs are also automatically hit with the three-month license suspension and $561 fine.
In Victoria, new Road Safety Drivers Regulations later this year will require all inter-state and international license holders relocating to the state to obtain a Victorian license within six months or their existing license is invalid.
Anyone caught driving without transferring their license within six months will be charged with an unlicensed driving offence.
Another big change in the state is introducing demerit points for driving a motorcycle without a securely fitted and fastened high visibility vest or jacket.
Meanwhile, in Western Australia the speed limit could be reduced by 10km/h across the board if a plan by the Road Safety Council is brought into affect.
The dramatic plan would be one of the most dramatic shake up to the states road laws in decades.
But perhaps the biggest changes coming to drivers are in the Northern Territory from August.
With the aim to create a safer road environment, the changes are in line with the Australian Road Rules – creating more consistency across jurisdictions.
Among the changes, the fine for using a mobile phone while driving is being doubled from $250 to $500.
A $500 fine will also be implemented for visual display unit offences – which is using any device that has a screen which can distract the driver.
Motorcyclists will also be allowed to lane filter through traffic travelling less than 30km/h.
Lane filtering is where motorcycles can fill the gaps between lanes – they must not cut off traffic or veer into lanes.
Drivers are also now required to leave a metre gap when overtaking cyclists under 60km/h and one-and-a-half metres over 60km/h.
And for those on a learner driver permit, they are no longer allowed to ride a moped.
A similar huge increase to the fine for using a phone while driving is being considered for Queensland where the Driver Distraction National Summit started in Brisbane on Monday and runs through to Wednesday.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey is determined to push forward with a plan to increase the fine for mobile phone use while driving to $1000.
The current fine is $400 so this would more than double the penalty and for those people who are caught using their phone a second time they could lose their license.
2019 ROAD RULE CHANGES
From July 1 license fees increase, car registration fees increase, and the penalty unit for fines increases by 2.25 per cent making fines more expensive.
NEW SOUTH WALES
From May 20 drink drivers on their first offence will automatically get a three month license suspension and a $561 fine, the same goes for drug driving.
From August 1 the fine for using a mobile phone while driving will increase from $250 to $500. A new fine of $500 will be introduced for visual display unit driving offences.
Motorcyclists permitted to lane-filter safely through traffic travelling less than 30km/h.
When in a 60km/h or less speed zone, motorists required to leave one metre passing distance when overtaking a cyclist. When the speed limit is over 60km/h, at least one and a half metres.
Cyclists will be allowed to ride slowly across pedestrian crossings.
Learner drivers will no longer be able to ride a moped.
New rules confirm children under one year of age, travelling in commercial passenger vehicles will be allowed to be nursed on the lap of a passenger over 16 years of age, if there is no child restraint available.
All interstate and overseas license holders are required to get a Victorian license within six months of relocating or their license in invalid under potential changes later this year.
Demerit points to be introduced for motorcycle riders not wearing high-vis vests under potential changes later this year.