Article Category - By Shanaya Stapleton 28 January 2022

We all know you can't use your mobile phone while driving, but what exactly does this mean if you are on a full licence, or a restricted licence such as a Learner, P1 or P2 driver?

When can a learner, P1 or P2 driver legally use a mobile phone?

  • To pay for goods or services - If the vehicle is stationary in a road related area, ALL driver's, including learner and provisional drivers, are allowed to use their phone to pay for goods and services, or redeem electronic coupons or vouchers that are displayed on the phone. For example, you can use your phone to pay for food in a drive-through, but you should put your phone away before moving the vehicle.
  • To access your Digital Driver's Licence - You can use your phone to access a Digital Driver's Licence, but you should wait for a direction from a police officer to do this before touching your phone.

For all other uses, you must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your phone in any way. So for learner, P1 and P2 driver, that means you are not allowed to: 

  • Make or answer calls (even if you have a Bluetooth or hands free cradle)
  • Use a driver's aid such as GPS/Navigation system.
  • Listen to music through Bluetooth

Full licence drivers can use their phone while the vehicle is moving, or stationary but not parked if:

  • The phone is being used to make or receive an audio phone call and the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle while being used or, if not in a secured mounting, then it must be handsfree, with the driver not needing to touch any part of the phone to operate the phone.
  • The phone is functioning as a visual display as an aid to the driver, such as a GPS, and is in a secured mounting.

Under Regulation 300 of the Road Rules 2014, 'use' of a mobile phone is defined as:  

  • Holding the phone or resting it on any part of your body- including your lap;
  • Turning the phone on or off;
  • Entering anything into the phone;
  • Sending or looking at the phone; or
  • Operating any function of the phone.

What are the current penalties in NSW?

The penalty for using a phone while driving is $349 and 5 demerit points, which increases to 10 demerit points during double-demerit periods. With P1 licence holders having only 4 points and P2 drivers having 7, mobile phone offences could easily see your licence suspended.

If you need support or advice in relation to a traffic matter, contact our experienced team on (02) 6331 2911. We're here to help!

Shanaya Stapleton | Solicitor