The laws in relation to mobile phones changed at the beginning of the month, but it is particularly relevant this weekend as this is the first double demerit point weekend since the penalties were increased.  In this article we are covering the rules and penalties for fully licensed drivers.

L platers and P platers have a separate set of rules that are not covered here.

 

Regulation 300 of the Road Rules 2014 NSW provides that -

The driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, unless:

 

(a) the phone is being used to make or receive an audio phone call or to perform an audio playing function and the body of the phone:

(i) is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle while being so used, or

(ii) is not secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle and is not being held by the driver, and the use of the phone does not require the driver, at any time while using it, to press any thing on the body of the phone or to otherwise manipulate any part of the body of the phone, or

(b) the phone is functioning as a visual display unit that is being used as a driver's aid and the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle, or

(c) the vehicle is an emergency vehicle or a police vehicle, or

(d) the driver is exempt from this rule under another law of this jurisdiction.

 

 

Make or receive an audio call

A mobile phone can be used while driving if it is used to make or receive an audio call and the body of the phone is secured in an approved mounting, or the phone can be operated without touching it.

If you are using something like blue tooth and you do not have to touch your phone at all to answer it or hang up then you can use your phone even if it is not mounted.  You cannot however touch your phone if you are using it in this fashion.

 

 

Mounted to the vehicle

So if you are using an approved mounting, you can touch the body of the phone to answer it.  What does mounted to the vehicle mean?  Click on the link to our article on that topic.

 

 

Perform an audio playing function

The rules for playing music are the same as the rules for making or receiving a voice call.  So if it is mounted to the vehicle in an approved mounting, or you can operate it by blue tooth and you do not touch the phone at all, then you can use your phone to play music.

 

 

Visual display unit

You can also use your mobile phone if you are using it as a visual display unit for a driver's aid.  What does that mean?

If you are using your phone as a navigation system, rearview camera, ticket issuing machine (like in a taxi) or a vehicle monitoring device then your phone is being used as a visual display unit for a driver's aid.  But you must be using it in an approved mounting system, so read that article and make sure your mounting system is sufficient.

 

 

Points penalties

Schedule 1 of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2017 confirms that the penalty for a mobile phone offence is generally 5 points for a fully licensed driver, but it is 10 points on a long weekend.

 

 

Texts, emails any other function

You cannot use your mobile phone for texts or emails, no matter whether the phone is mounted or blue tooth connected.

You cannot use this legislation if you are a P plater or an L plater, these rules do not apply to you.

If you do not have an approved mount or a blue tooth system don't even get your phone out of your bag, put it in your boot, the points penalties are high particularly on a long weekend.

 

 

More information

If you would like to read some more of our articles about driving laws then click on our link titled more driving articles.

 

 

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