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Big fines for mobile phone use while driving now in force

The mobile phone detection camera program enforcing illegal mobile phone use by drivers commenced on 1 December 2019.

The program includes fixed and transportable cameras across the NSW network. Coupled with ongoing enforcement by NSW Police, the cameras target illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.

Warning letters during first three months

Warning letters relating to camera-detected offences will be issued for the first three months. Following this period, the penalty for offending drivers is five demerit points and a $344 fine ($457 in a school zone). The penalty increases to 10 demerit points during double demerit periods.

The roll out of the mobile phone detection cameras follows a six month trial, and unlike speed cameras, there will be no warning signs to alert motorists of their presence.

The high-definition cameras use artificial intelligence to spot drivers, regardless of the weather or time of day. Portable camera versions will be mounted on trailers and will also operate across the state.

Transport for NSW said it is legal to use your phone to make or receive a call  or use music or audio functions only if the phone is either: secured in a cradle fixed to the vehicle; or can be operated without touching any part of the phone, (eg: Bluetooth controls) – but not for learner or provisional licence holders.

What’s legal, what’s not

Mobile phones can be used as a driver’s aid such as for navigation, or Speed Advisor app or dispatch system only if the phone is secured in a cradle fixed to the vehicle but again, this is not permitted for learner or provisional licence holders.

All drivers can only access a Digital Driver Licence after a police officer has asked you to do so.

Drivers may also only use wallet functions (make a transaction, show a coupon or voucher, or to access an area) if the vehicle is: stationary; and off the road (such as in a car park, driveway or drive through).

All other functions including video calling, texting, emailing, social media, web browsing and photography are prohibited unless parked.

It is also illegal to hold and use a mobile phone at any time while driving or riding.

For more information visit:  https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/mobilephones/know-the-rules.html Know the rules


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