Have you ever wondered if you can use your mobile sat nav device in the car to talk hands-free or are you breaking the law?
Each state in Australia has their own unique laws, and if you’re driving around these school holidays it’s important to be aware of the laws in each state so you’re not one of the Australians who contribute to clocking up tens of millions of fines each year for driving illegally whilst using a mobile phone.
New South Wales
Law: Drivers can use any function of a phone but only if it’s “in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road” according to the NSW Department of Transport. Penalty: $330 fine, $439 in a school zone, four demerit points. More at this link
Law: Drivers can use a phone’s audio functions only if it’s in a fixed holder/cradle or if it can be “operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone”, according to VicRoads. Penalty: $476 fine, four demerit points. More at this link
Law: Drivers can use a smartphone only if it’s in a fixed holder/cradle or by using a hands-free or Bluetooth system.
Penalty: $378 fine, three demerit points. More at this link
Law: A phone in a fixed holder or cradle can be used “if a person wishes to make or receive a call” and hands-free or Bluetooth systems are okay too. Penalty: $327 fine, three demerit points. More at this link
Law: Drivers in WA can only touch a mobile phone “to receive and terminate a phone call” but only if it’s in a cradle or holder attached to the vehicle. Penalty: $400 fine, three demerit points. More at this link
Law: According to Transport Tasmania, mobile phone use is banned except to make or receive phone calls if it can be operated “without touching any part of the phone”, such as hands-free or Bluetooth systems. Penalty: $300 fine, three demerit points. More at this link
Law: The laws surrounding the use of mobile phones while driving in the NT are as follows: “You must not use a hand-held mobile phone while driving even if you are stopped at traffic lights.” Penalty: $250 fine, three demerit points. More at this link
Australian Capital Territory
Law: Drivers are permitted by law to make or receive calls and use navigation apps such as Google Maps on mobile phones while operating a vehicle if the phone is “securely mounted to the vehicle” for example in a cradle, or “via Bluetooth or voice activation”. Penalty: $447 fine, three demerit points (talking on hand-held phone) & $548 fine, four demerit points (texting, internet/social media usage). More: at this link
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