Although we use our mobile phones to organize our daily lives, their use by people who are driving is governed by a wide range of laws as described in NSW Road Rules 2014. This is because comprehensive research has found that people who do so are approximately four times more likely to have a crash. With this in mind, it’s important that remain up-to-date on the latest rules to ensure you don’t get caught out.
When Can Drivers Use Their Phones?
If you have an unrestricted license, there are several ways you can use your mobile phone legally while driving. You can make or receive phone calls, as well as use music or audio functions, provided that your phone is secured in a cradle and you can operate it without touching the phone via Bluetooth or voice controls.
If your phone is fixed in a cradle, you can also use navigation features and other driver aids. In addition, you can use digital payment methods if your vehicle is both stationary and located off the road. The only other time you can use your phone while driving is if you need to show your digital driver license after it has been requested by a police officer.
If you happen to be driving on a restricted license, including as a learner, P1 or P2 driver, you’re not permitted to use your phone in any of these situations.
When Is It Illegal To Use Your Phone?
Outside of the above circumstances, using your phone while driving is considered illegal unless your car is fully parked and stationary. This includes everything from video calling and texting, to browsing the internet and taking photos. Don’t forget that it’s also illegal to be simply holding your phone or resting it on any part of your body while driving.
What Are The Penalties for Getting Caught?
The penalties for getting caught using your mobile phone while driving are quite severe. Drivers in NSW will be hit with a $349 fine, which rises to $464 in school zones, while they will also be stung with five demerit points. During double-demerit periods, this increases to 10 points.
In fact, the chances of getting caught using your phone while driving are only increasing. Since December 2019, the NSW Government’s Mobile Phone Detection Camera Program has been in place, with dozens of fixed and transportable cameras using artificial intelligence to catch offenders.
Got caught using your mobile phone while driving? Use our online service to appeal that penalty notice and save your drivers licence.