NSW road rules were changed on 1 Dec 2016 for P2 drivers. Learner, P1 and P2 drivers must not use mobile phones for any function while driving  or riding or while stationary (at traffic lights). You must be parked out of traffic to use your phone.

More information about the NSW rules can be found here. 

 

On 1 November 2012 the NSW road laws on mobile phone use were amended to bring them in line with the Australian Road Rules.

Below is a simple explanation of the law from the NSW Roads & Maritime Services website - current as at 1 December 2014.


What do the mobile phone laws mean for you?

While your vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked), as a driver you may only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call or use the audio playing function if:

  • the mobile phone is secured in a fixed mounting; or
  • the mobile phone does not require you to touch or manipulate the phone in any way.

All other functions including texting, video messaging, online chatting, reading preview messages and emailing are prohibited.

While your vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked), as a driver you must not hold your mobile phone in your hand other than to pass the phone to a passenger.

A mobile phone’s GPS (or other driver’s aid) function may only be used if:

  • the phone is secured in a commercially designed and manufactured fixed mounting, and
  • the mounting is fixed in a location that will not distract or obscure your view in any way, and
  • the use of the driver’s aid does not distract you from driving or from being in proper control of your vehicle.
How do mobile phone laws apply to learner and P1 provisional drivers and riders?
 
Learner and P1 drivers and riders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding.
These laws were brought in on 1 July 2007 because learner and P1 drivers and provisional riders are developing their vehicle control and hazard perception skills. Mobile phone use can distract novice drivers and riders from the driving task. Studies have found that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous as it slows reaction times and interferes with a driver’s perception skills and increases the chance of having a crash.
 
What are the penalties?

The penalty for mobile phone use is three demerit points (or four if the offence occurs in a school zone) and a fine.


Outlined below is a full description of the mobile phone use law from the New South Wales Government legislation Road Rules 2008 - Current version as at 14 January 2013.


300   Use of mobile phones by drivers (except holders of learner or provisional P1 licences)
 
(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) or to perform an audio playing function 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 any thing on the body of the phone or to otherwise manipulate any part of the body of the phone, or
 
(b)  the phone is functioning as a visual display unit that is being used as a driver’s aid and the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle, or
 
(c)  the vehicle is an emergency vehicle or a police vehicle, or
 
(d)  the driver is exempt from this rule under another law of this jurisdiction.
 
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
 
Note 1. Emergency vehiclepark and police vehicle are defined in the Dictionary.
 
Note 2. See rule 299 (2) for examples of driver’s aids.
 
Note 3. Subrule (1) is not uniform with the corresponding subrule in rule 300 of the Australian Road Rules. Different rules may apply in other Australian jurisdictions.
 
(2)  For the purposes of this rule, a mobile phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle 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.
 
(3–1)  This rule does not apply to the driver of a vehicle who is the holder of a learner licence or a provisional P1 licence.
 
Note 1. Provisional P1 licence is defined in the Dictionary and learner licence is defined in the Act.
 
Note 2. Rule 300–1 provides for the use of mobile phones by drivers who are holders of learner licences or provisional P1 licences.
 
Note 3. This subrule is an additional NSW subrule. There is no corresponding subrule in rule 300 of the Australian Road Rules.
 
(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.
 
300–1   NSW rule: use of mobile phones by drivers who are holders of learner and provisional P1 licences
(cf RRR, cl 47F)
 
(1)  The driver of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle or police vehicle) who is the holder of a learner licence or provisional P1 licence must not use a mobile phone, whether or not held by the driver, while the vehicle is moving or is stationary but not parked.
 
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
 
Note. Emergency vehicleparkpolice vehicle and provisional P1 licence are defined in the Dictionary, and learner licence is defined in the Act.
 
(2)  In this rule, mobile phone and use have the same meanings as in rule 300.

Note. This rule is an additional NSW road rule. There is no corresponding rule in the Australian Road Rules.


For more information see the NSW government page on mobile phone use, frequently asked questions and brochure (pdf) about changes to the law on November 2012.


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