With a large number of mobile phone users in Australia, and the high-speed addition of new in-vehicle communication systems, instances of distracted driving have become far too common.
Studies have shown that hand-held—and even hands-free—mobile phones can cause major distractions for drivers, and largely increase the risk of traffic incidents, including fatal crashes.
Those who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free when driving:
Therefore, drivers who use mobile phones whilst driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. This risk applies to use of both hand-held AND hands-free devices, as the issues are rooted in the mental distraction and divided attention of the driver. Because of this, the states and territories across Australia have outlawed mobile phone use for drivers, and may even penalise passengers for mobile phone use where distracting conduct is identified.
No. It’s illegal to have your mobile phone touching any part of your body, except when passing it to a passenger. You can be fined and docked demerit points when caught using your phone whilst driving. You may be permitted to use your mobile phone only if the device is secured in a commercially designed holder that is fixed to the vehicle and does not obscure your view of the road. Alternatively, hands-free methods such Bluetooth and voice activation may also be allowed.
All drivers are encouraged to refer to the laws applicable to the state or territory they are driving in. This will clarify what is and isn’t permitted regarding mobile phone use in the specified jurisdiction.
Helpful links for each state and territory can be found below:
Want to learn more about driving in Australia? Check out our driving tips .