New mobile phone laws came into effect last year on 1st November in New South Wales, where if your car is moving or stationary, you can not
utilise your mobile phone in any way. This includes phone calls and texting obviously, but also includes playing music or having your phone switched on and in your lap.
Queensland counterparts have yet to confirm whether they are introducing the new laws although police have a zero tolerance attitude toward mobile phone usage by drivers. Last financial year, Queensland Police fined 30,780 drivers for talking or texting on phones at the wheel, including 76 cyclists.
In New South Wales the changes state that while a vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked), a driver may only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call or use the audio playing function if:
- the mobile phone is secured in a fixed mounting; or
- if not in a mounting, must not require a driver to touch or manipulate the phone in any way.
All other functions including texting, video messaging, online chatting, reading preview messages and emailing are prohibited. The new laws make it clear that a driver in a moving or stationary vehicle MUST NOT HOLD a phone in his or her hand other than to pass the phone to a passenger.
State penalties: QLD – 3 points – $330 NSW – 3 points – $298 (if in a school zone 4 points – $397)