It’s no secret that the NSW government are cracking down on people using their phone whilst driving. The penalties include fines and adding demerit points to the license of the offender, sometimes pushing people over the demerit point threshold and causing people to lose their license. But how many of us actually know all the laws surrounding this topic? Keep reading for a quick guide to the laws of using your phone while on the road.
I’m a Learner or Provisional Driver, What Can I Do? Anyone on a learner license or a P1 or P2 license is not permitted to use their phone at all when driving. If a learner or P1 driver is caught using their phone they will incur four demerit points and exceed their threshold, and face a three-month suspension. P2 drivers will have three demerit points remaining, so if caught again they will lose their license.
I Have a Full License: The laws are slightly different for those will their full license. If on a full license you are able to make or answer a call, providing the phone is in a cradle fixed to the car, or can be operated via Bluetooth. You are also able to use your phone for a map as long as the phone is in a cradle and not obscuring vision.
Can I use my phone if it’s in my lap? No, its actually illegal to use your phone if it is touching any part of your body! But, if you are on your full license, and have Bluetooth, you’re able to use your phone for calls even when its in your pocket.
Can I hold my phone at traffic lights or in traffic? This is also illegal, if you want to use your phone you must be parked off of the road or on the side of the road. There’s also a new law in place stating that if you wish to use your phone (even when off of the road) your engine must be off. If you fail to do this, you will get demerit points! So don’t forget to turn your engine off when checking your emails.
Can I use the audio on my phone if I don’t have Bluetooth? As long as you have an unrestricted license, and the phone is in a cradle, this is fine. The cradle needs to be attached to the car in a safe place, not obscuring your view of the road though. You’re also allowed to dial a number if your phone is in a cradle on a full license.
I’m on a provisional license, but I need to use a map, what do I do? Although you’re not allowed to use a phone for its map unless you have a full license, provisional drivers and learners are allowed to use a GPS. So when you first start driving, a GPS might be a worthwhile investment!
As you can see, there are a lot of restrictions when it comes to using your phone while driving. These restrictions are in place to help drivers stay focused on the road. Follow this guide and you’ll avoid any hefty penalties while being a safer driver at the same time.