From 17 September 2018 NSW drivers who are caught using a mobile phone while driving illegally will be penalised 5 demerit points instead of the previous 4 points.
During double demerit point periods such as peak holiday times, drivers who are caught using a mobile phone whilst driving will be penalised 10 demerit points.
For learner, P1 and P2 drivers and motorcyclists, they are not permitted at all to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. If you have a learner, P2 or P2 or are on a motorbike you must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your phone in any way.
Learner and P1 drivers and motorcyclists who commit a mobile offence will exceed their demerit point threshold and face a 3-month licence suspension. P2 drivers and riders who commit a mobile phone offence will be 2 demerit points away from reaching their threshold.
While driving or riding you CAN use your mobile phone:
To make or answer a call
To use the audio playing function (e.g. music)
As a driver’s aid (e.g. navigation, Speed Adviser app)
The above can ONLY be done if the phone is either:
In a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road
Can be operated without touching any part of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation
As a driver’s aid, it can ONLY be done if the phone is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road
While driving or riding you CANNOT use your mobile phone for anything else, including:
Texting or audio texting
Using social media
Holding your phone in any way (in hand, on lap, between shoulder and ear). Drivers are only allowed to hold a phone to pass it to a passenger.
If you want to use your phone for any of these functions, your vehicle must be parked out of the line of traffic. These functions are not permitted when your vehicle is stopped, including when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. As detailed above, fully licenced drivers and riders can only make a call on their phone if it is either in a cradle fixed to the vehicle or is operated without touching any apart of the phone, such as via Bluetooth or voice activation. Drivers are not allowed to use their mobiles to text, email, use social media, take photos, tape videos or video call while driving.
According to the NRMA, using a mobile phone while driving increases your risk of a crash 4-fold as it can lead to slow reaction times, wandering out of your lane, slower and less controlled braking, and riskier decision making.