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Look, no hands

A NEW law banning the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving a vehicle has taken effect, threatening infringers with a $100 fine and the loss of one demerit point.

Besides boosting road safety – research shows using a hand-held phone while driving increases the risk of being involved in a fatal crash up to nine times – it has proved a boon to mobile phone retailers.

Sales of hands-free kits, either those fitted or simpler “plug-in” devices, have gone through the roof.

Vodafone acting state manager Gino Lamelza said hands-free kit sales had “gone crazy” in the lead up to the law, which took effect on July 1.

“Hand-free kit sales added 80 per cent to the State’s figures in accessories for Saturday,” Mr Lamelza said.

A Telstra spokesman said sales of the hands-free kits would reduce once most people had them, but until then they were “going like hotcakes”.

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