Demerit point increase
From 17 September 2018, drivers who use a mobile phone illegally will be penalised an extra demerit point, up from four to five. During double demerit periods, drivers who break the rules will be penalised 10 demerit points.
With a large number of mobile phone owners in Australia - 19 million in 2016 with the figure set to rise to 20 million by 2019 - and the high-speed addition of new in-vehicle communication systems, distracted driving is fast becoming a severe and growing threat to road safety.
Mobile phone use while driving is becoming increasingly more prevalent on our roads, and considering how phones have become a necessary tool to keep businesses running while away from the office - it's easy to see why. But the truth is, there can be disastrous consequences. Last year we compiled a report, Can’t Talk. Driving. that called for a crackdown on illegal phone use behind the wheel. And thanks to the support of our Members, the NSW Government plans to invest in technology that can help catch distracted drivers, and change legislation to allow technology to be used to enforce mobile phone offences.
Our report found that 15% of drivers believe they won’t get caught using their phones, and one in five drivers claim they had a near miss because another driver was using their phone illegally. So it’s crucial Police are given the tools they need to appropriately reprimand drivers using their phones when they shouldn’t be, as the number of people killed and injured as a result of this behaviour continues to rise.
If you need a reminder on the current rules around mobile phone use on the road, take a look below at what applies to fully licensed drivers and motorcyclists.
Fully licensed drivers and motorcyclists rules
|While driving or riding you CAN use your mobile phone:|
|YES: to make or answer a call||
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
|YES: to use the audio playing function (e.g. music)|
|YES: as a driver's aid (e.g. navigation, Speed Adviser app)||Only 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 CANNOT use your mobile phone for anything else, including:|
|NO: texting or audio texting||
* 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
|NO: using social media
|NO: taking photos|
|NO: video messaging|
|NO: 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.|