Bike riders found using hand-held mobile phones while riding can be issued with a $476 spot fine under a new road rule from July 1.
This means police no longer have to charge riders and take them to court, a costly and time-consuming process that ties up police resources.
Instead, police can issue cyclists a spot fine, just as they can to drivers of motorised vehicles found using a hand-held phone while driving.
VicRoads Director Road User and Vehicle Access, Robyn Seymour, said using a hand-held mobile phone to text or make calls was just as distracting for a cyclist as it was for a motorist.
“Not paying attention, even for a split-second, while riding or driving can result in tragedy, and it is imperative that cyclists and drivers concentrate and focus when on our roads,” Ms Seymour said.
“Just like drivers, riders must pull over to the roadside and stop before they can touch their phone handset to text or make calls.”
The changes were developed following an independent review of Victoria’s cycling road rules and extensive consultation with the community, Victoria Police, cycling groups and the bus industry