The Australian Road Rules are applied in the Australian Capital Territory under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000.

As such the laws for mobile phone use in the ACT are exactly the same as those set out in the Australian Road Rules.

Below is a simple explanation of the ACT mobile phone use law provided in the ACT Road Rules Handbook - January 2013 edition (pdf).


Using a mobile telephone

It is an offence to use a mobile phone which is held in the hand while driving a vehicle. This includes sending or reading text messages, video messages and emails. You can only use a mobile phone to make or receive phone calls if your phone has a hands free connection or is secured in a commercially designed cradle. If your phone is not fitted with a hands free connection or secured in a cradle, you must stop and park the vehicle before answering or making a phone call.


A full description of the mobile phone use law from the ACT Legislation Register is outlined below.

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000 - Current version as at 7 May 2013.


300 ‘Use of mobile phones’

(1) 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 a phone call (other than a text message, video message, email or similar communication) 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 anything on the body of the phone or to otherwise manipulate any part of the body of the phone; or

(b) the vehicle is an emergency vehicle or a police vehicle;

Or

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

(2) For the purposes of this rule, a mobile phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle if, and only if—

(a) the mounting is commercially designed and manufactured for that purpose; and

(b) the mobile phone is secured in the mounting, and the mounting is affixed to the vehicle, in the manner intended by the manufacturer.

(3) For the purposes of this rule, a driver does not use a phone to receive a text message, video message, email or similar communication if:

(a) the communication is received automatically by the phone; and

(b) on and after receipt, the communication itself (rather than any indication that the communication has been received) does not become automatically visible on the screen of the phone.

(4) In this rule:

affixed to, in relation to a vehicle, includes forming part of the vehicle;

body, in relation to a mobile phone, means the part of the phone that contains the majority of the phone's mechanisms;

held includes held by, or resting on, any part of the driver's body, but does not include held in a pocket of the driver's clothing or in a pouch worn by the driver;

mobile phone does not include a CB radio or any other two-way radio;

use, in relation to a mobile phone, includes any of the following actions by a driver:

(a) holding the body of the phone in her or his hand (whether or not engaged in a phone call), except while in the process of giving the body of the phone to a passenger in the vehicle;

(b) entering or placing, other than by the use of voice, anything into the phone, or sending or looking at anything that is in the phone;

(c) turning the phone on or off;

(d) operating any other function of the phone.


See our page on the Australian Road Rules for more information about the ACT road rules


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