What's the law? Mobile phones and driving

LIFE STORY

What's the law? Mobile phones and driving


With a large number of mobile phone owners in Australia – 19 million in 2016 with the figure set to rise to 20 million by 20191 – and the high-speed addition of new in-vehicle communication systems, distracted driving is fast becoming a severe and growing threat to road safety. 

Being distracted while driving, such as by hand-held or hands-free mobile phone, can increase the risk of being involved in a crash by up to four times, due to the following factors:

 

  • Impaired ability to stay in your lane and maintain the appropriate speed
  • Slower reaction times 
  • Reduced field of vision
  • Impaired ability to judge distances 
  • Increased mental workload
  • Reduced awareness of what is happening around you

 

AussieVIEW

 

Road rules

To help you navigate around the cans and can'ts of mobile phone use and driving, we’ve outlined the rules that apply to fully licensed drivers and motorcyclists, and all bicycle riders below:

NSW Legislation

While driving or riding you can use your mobile phone:

  • To make or answer a call
  • To use the audio playing function (e.g. music)
  • As a driver's aid (e.g. navigation, Speed Adviser app)

Only if the phone is either:

  • In a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn't obscure your view of the road
  • Can be operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation
  • If the phone is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn't obscure your view of the road

While driving or riding you can not use your mobile phone for anything else, including:

  • Texting or audio texting
  • Emailing
  • Using social media
  • Taking photos
  • Video messaging
  • Holding your phone in any way (in hand, on lap, between shoulder and ear). Drivers are only allowed to hold a phone to pass it to a passenger.

If you want to use your phone for any of these functions, your vehicle must be parked out of the line of traffic.

These functions are not permitted when your vehicle is stopped, including when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic.

From 1 July 2018 NSW drivers can be charged for using a mobile phone when driving via camera detection.

The Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Act 2018 No 15 has allowed camera technology to be used to enforce mobile phone offences from 1 July 2018.

Learner, P1 and P2 drivers and motorcyclists (NSW)

Learner, P1 and P2 licence holders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. You must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your phone in any way.

Learner and P1 drivers and riders penalised for illegally using a mobile phone (four demerit points) will exceed their demerit point threshold and face a three-month licence suspension. P2 drivers and riders will have three demerit points remaining if they are penalised for illegally using a mobile phone.

ACT Legislation

In the ACT, fully licensed drivers and riders cannot use hand-held mobile phones. Like in NSW, drivers are able to make or answer a call and use the audio playing function (e.g. music) only if the phone is either:

  • In a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure their view of the road;
  • Can be operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation.

There are currently no additional mobile phone restrictions for young drivers in the ACT.


Source. https://www.mynrma.com.au/cars-and-driving/driver-training-and-licences/resources/whats-the-law-mobile-phones-and-driving