The Romanian Government adopted the ordinance for the modification and completion of the Road Code, through the Government Ordinance no. 11/2019 in August 2019. The amendments will be in force beginning with October 12, 2019.   

The main changes to the Road Code refer to the sanctions that traffic participants risk if they use mobile devices in traffic such as mobile phones or any other device provided with the function of recording or playing text, photo or video.

Thus “holding or using hands in any way in connection with the mobile phone or any mobile device provided with the function of recording or text playback, photo or video while driving a motor vehicle, agricultural or forestry tractor or tram in motion on public roads,” is considered a contravention and is sanctioned with a III class fine, from 6 to 8 fine-points (at present from 870 to 1160 lei) and 4 additional penalization points.

The interdiction also applies  in the case of those who use a vehicle for which the driving license is not required:  bicycles, scooters, carts, etc. In their case, the sanction provided is higher, respectively an amount between 870 and 1.160 lei [art. 101, paragraph 1, point 19].

The ban applies only when the vehicles are in motion. This means that drivers who, before using the mobile phone, stop the vehicle or use the mobile phone at the traffic light will not be fined.

In addition, in the case of a contravention cumulating the violation of a traffic rule and the non-observance of the above mentioned provisions, the law provides, in art. 100, paragraph (3), the sanction with a fine between 580 and 725 lei [  the second class of sanctions] and the application of a complementary contravention sanction – suspension of the entitlement to drive for a period of 30 days.

The fine point represents 10% of the gross minimum wage on the economy, established by Government decision, but, exceptionally, between January 1 and December 31, 2019 it would amount to 145 lei, according to art. 98, paragraph 2  2  from the GEO. 195/2002.

You can find out more in a Press release Signed by the Romanian Police here.

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