Road rules for mobile phone use in Australia

The holiday season is fast approaching! There’s something exciting about seeing Christmas decorations begin to grace the shelves of our favourite stores, and the warmer weather bringing promises of hot summer nights, holidays and festivities with our loved ones.

But what most of us don’t think about is the sobering road toll statistics each year, especially during the holiday season. There’s growing awareness around mobile phone use while driving, and penalities have increased as a result. 

But, even with growing awareness, many people are still confused about road rules in relation to mobile phone use whilst driving. So here’s the lowdown on the rules in each state:


NEW SOUTH WALES 

$344 fine and 5 demerit points 

Key points:

  • Cannot touch any part of phone whilst driving or waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic
  • Learner, P1 and P2 licence holders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding
  • Fully licenced drivers can make or answer a call, use the audio playing function (e.g. music) or use a driver's aid (such as navigation) ONLY if the device is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obstruct your view, and/or can be operated without touching the device (such as bluetooth)
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of NSW mobile phone use road rules can be found here


QUEENSLAND 

$400 fine and 3 demerit points

Key Points:

  • Fully licenced and P2 drivers cannot hold a phone in their hand or operate any part of the phone whilst driving or waiting in traffic or at lights
  • They must use a hands free kit or a mounting bracket on windscreen that doesn’t obstruct their view
  • Learner and P1 provisional drivers under 25 must not use hands-free, wireless headsets or a mobile phone's loudspeaker function
  • Passengers of a P1 licence holder cannot use the loud speaker function
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of QLD mobile phone use road rules can be found here


VICTORIA

$484 fine and 4 demerit points

Key points:

  • Learner, P1 and P2 drivers must not use a mobile phone (hand-held or hands-free) for any function while driving (including while stationary but not parked)
  • Fully licenced drivers can make or answer a call, use the audio playing function (e.g. music) or use a driver's aid (such as navigation) ONLY if the device is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obstruct your view, and/or can be operated without touching the device (such as bluetooth)
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of VIC mobile phone use road rules can be found here


WESTERN AUSTRALIA

$400 fine and 3 points

Key points:

  • A driver of a vehicle, can only touch a mobile phone to receive and terminate a phone call if the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle. 
  • If the phone is not secured in a mounting, it can only be used to receive or terminate a phone call without touching it (e.g. using voice activation, a Bluetooth hands-free car kit, ear piece or headset)
  • It is illegal for the driver of a vehicle to create, send or look at a text message, video message, email or similar communication, even when the phone is secured in a mounting or can be operated without touching it.
  • GPS may be used by a driver whilst driving if no touch of the keypad or screen is required.
  • The same rules apply to all drivers, including L and P plate drivers.
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of WA mobile phone use road rules can be found here


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

$470 fine and 4 demerit points

Key points:

  • Mobile phones may be used to make or receive a phone call (other than a text message, video message, email or similar communication) when the vehicle is moving if the body of the phone is:
    • secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle while being used; or
    • 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 anything on the body of the phone or to otherwise manipulate any part of the body of the phone.
  • for GPS purposes, provided the phone is securely affixed to the vehicle. The mounting used must be one that is commercially designed and manufactured for that purpose and the phone must be secured in the mounting and the mounting must be affixed to the vehicle in the manner intended by the manufacturer.
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of ACT mobile phone use road rules can be found here


NORTHERN TERRITORY

$500 and 3 demerit points

  • You must not use a hand-held mobile phone or visual display unit (such as a smart watch) while driving, even if you are stopped at traffic lights.

Full list of NT mobile phone use road rules can be found here


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

$534 and 3 demerit points

Key points:

  • Learner and P1 licence holders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding
  • Except for learner drivers and P1 drivers, a mobile phone may only be used to make or receive a phone call (and cannot  email, text or video messages) if secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle or remotely operated (eg bluetooth)
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of SA mobile phone use road rules can be found here


TASMANIA

$300 and 3 demerit points

Key points:

  • It is illegal to touch your mobile phone while driving this includes having your mobile sitting on your lap and touching and part of the phone for GPS.
  • The ONLY time it is legal for a driver to use their mobile phone is if it is mounted within the vehicle and can be used WITHOUT touching any part of it.
  • The same rules would apply to using a Smart Watch as it would be classed as a visual display unit

Full list of TAS mobile phone use road rules can be found here


Whilst the fines and demerit points vary between each state, the use of a car mount and hands-free devices is required in every state in order to operate certain functions on your phone. 

Luckily, we have that sorted for you here at Smart Phones Shop! Not only are our selection of car mounts professionally designed and manufactured to the highest standards, some are small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, meaning they won’t obstruct your view. Check out our range here 

Bluetooth and wired headphones also become an important part of your journey, so be sure to check out our range of bluetooth headphones and wired headphones

Stay safe this holiday season guys!

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