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Driving with a Mobile Phone in Australia

a young female hand using a mobile phone while driving

It's apparent that distracted driving is fast becoming a severe and growing threat to road safety today. With a large number of mobile phone users in Australia and the high-speed addition of new in-vehicle communication systems, this risk is likely to grow for years to come. For 2017, the number of mobile phone users in Australia is expected to rise to 19.4 million, according to The Statistics Portal.

Studies have shown that using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving can cause a major distraction, and largely increases the danger of being involved in a crash or near crash.

Those who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free when driving:

  • become disoriented and not aware of road conditions
  • miss road signs
  • may not be able to manage proper lane position and a safe speed
  • respond more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
  • are more prone to enter risky gaps in traffic
  • are more prone to 'tailgate' the vehicle in front
  • become more stressed and discouraged

Therefore drivers using mobiles are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Note that this risk rolls in for both hand-held and hands-free phones, as the problems are triggered generally by the mental distraction and divided attention such as making a phone call, or text messaging while driving. Because of this, states and territories in Australia have made it illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.

Why you shouldn't use your phone while driving?

The table below highlights on the use of mobile phones, road rules laws, fine and demerit points while driving in different states in Australia. For full information on road rules laws, simply click on the links.

States and Territories
Road Rules
Fine and Demerit Points 
Offenders will be penalised four demerit points for illegally using their mobile phone.
The fine for using your mobile while driving in QLD will cost you $365 and 3 demerit points.

If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving, you will receive a fine and 4 demerit points.

Once you reach 5 demerit points, you will most likely have your licence suspended.

The fine for using your mobile while driving in WA will cost you $400 and 3 demerit points.
The fine for using your mobile while driving in ACT will cost you $386 and 3 demerit points.
The fine for using your mobile while driving in NT will cost you $250 and 3 demerit points.
The fine for using your mobile while driving in SA will cost you $380 and 3 demerit points.
The fine for using your mobile while driving in TAS will cost you $300 and 3 demerit points.

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