Article Category - Criminal Law and Traffic Offences 05 March 2020

Mobile phone detection cameras have now gone live in NSW to target illegal mobile phone use while driving.

As a result, some local truckies have been asking, "If it's illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving, is it also illegal to hold a CB microphone while driving?". This is also relevant to radio hobbyists and tradies who use CB radio.

The answer can be found in Rule 300 of the NSW Road Rules, which states that:

"The driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked…"

However, the definition of "mobile phone" does not include a CB radio or any other two-way radio.

This means that using a hand-held CB microphone is not illegal under the legislation that bans the use of mobile phones while driving. So long as the driver still has proper control of the vehicle, there is no wrongdoing.

Having said that, mobile phone detection cameras use artificial intelligence to detect mobile phone use and we all know that artificial intelligence isn't always so intelligent!

It is certainly possible that the cameras could analyse an image of a driver using a CB radio and place that driver in the list of potential offending drivers. The image would then go to a human to review.

We would assume that a CB microphone would be obvious to any reviewer (especially where there is a visible microphone cable), but just like artificial intelligence humans don't always get it right!

If you or someone you know is issued with a penalty notice for a traffic offence that you feel that you have not committed, do not hesitate to contact our friendly team at Kenny Spring on 1800 650 656. We're here to help!

Aaron Strickland | Solicitor