Using a mobile phone while driving can cost you heavy fines, loss of demerit points and more. The NSW Police have made the laws stricter to crack down on the number of mobile phone usage related road accidents.
As such, it’s important to know what the road rules are in NSW when it comes to use of mobile phone while driving.
At Platinum Lawyers Sydney, we have put together a guide to the road rules about using your mobile phone while driving.
Unrestricted Licensed Drivers
For unrestricted licensed drivers in NSW, there are only two ways in which you are allowed to use your mobile phone while driving:
- It’s on a Fixed Mobile Phone Mount: The first is if your mobile phone is secured to a commercially manufactured and designed mobile phone mount which is fixed to your vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road. This can be used for such functions as answering phone calls, listening to music and navigation.
- It Can Be Used Without Touching Any Part of the Phone: The second way you can use your mobile phone while driving is if it can be accessed without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth.
Unrestricted License Holders can use the mobile device for a variety of reasons including as a driver’s aid (navigation, speed advisor app and more).
All other uses of mobile phones while driving is illegal and can result in large fines, loss of demerit points and even loss of license. These other uses include video use, answering text messages, searching the web, emailing, social media and photography.
Learner and Provisional License Holders
Unlike Unrestricted License Holders, learner and provisional license holders are not allowed to use their phone in any way while driving, including answering calls hands-free or using their phone as a driver’s aid while it is secured to an accepted mount.
Acceptable Use of Mobile Phone in Vehicles
Although all other uses of your mobile phone while driving are illegal, there are situations where mobile phone use is legal while behind the wheel.
- While Accessing a Digital Driver’s License on Your Mobile Phone: it is common that people will have a digital copy of their driver’s license on their mobile phone. This may only be accessed if a police officer has asked you to access it and provide it to them. Please note that it is illegal to access your phone before the police officer instructs you to do so.
- Using Your Mobile Phone’s Wallet Functions: this includes using your phone to make a transaction, using it to gain access to an area and using it as a coupon or voucher. This is only allowed if the vehicle is stationed and off-road, such as in a carpark, drive-thru or driveway.
Like full license holders, bike riders are permitted to use the mobile phone for certain functions, but the same rules apply: the phone must be placed in a secure mount that is commercially manufactured and designed and the phone must be accessed without touching any part of it. Such functions include answer phone calls, playing audio and navigation.
Mobile Phone Detection Cameras in NSW
As of December 1 2019,mobile phone detection cameraswere installed on NSW roads to curb the usage of mobile phones while driving. There will be warning letters given to camera-related offences, but repeated offences will receive a loss of five demerit points and a $344 fine ($457 in a school zone). This penalty rate increases to a loss of ten demerit points during double demerit periods.
Contact Platinum Lawyers Sydney today at (02) 8355 8020