Are police allowed to use mobile phones while driving?

Are police allowed to use mobile phones while driving?
Are police allowed to use mobile phones while driving?

 

Police are constantly in the spotlight for their own officers breaking the law. Pictures surfacing online of police officers taking calls while driving always spark quite the uproar but are they allowed to use their mobile while driving?

The current law in NSW and ACT, says that drivers must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or stationary (but not parked). However there are many exceptions to this law, for example when:

  • The phone is used for audio calls or playing music and secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle

  • The phone is not secured but the use of the phone doesn't require the driver to touch the phone at all

  • The phone is used as a GPS and secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle

  • The vehicle is an emergency vehicle or a police vehicle

As you might expect, police often get asked why this exemption exists. This statement is from the NSW Police Facebook page: "Officers may need to receive information about a job over their mobile phones for operational reasons, just as they might need to increase their speed to get to jobs without activating warning devices. That's not to say officers have an excuse to breach the rules in every circumstance - where possible, they will comply with all road rules. They are also rigorously checked against our Safe Driver Policy."

Please note, under NSW Road Rule 305 police vehicles do not have to display light or sounds alarm to be exempt from these mobile phone road rules.

So the law is clear. Police are allowed to use mobile phones when driving. However, they will comply with the road rules where possible.

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