1 November 2012

On 1 November 2012, a number of changes were introduced to NSW road rules. This affects all road users and includes amendments to legislation regarding the use of mobile phones and GPS devices. The new road rules 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:

  • If the mobile phone is secured in a fixed mounting; or
  • If not in a mounting, use of the mobile phone 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 (unless parked) MUST NOT HOLD a phone in their hand other than to pass the phone to a passenger.

A visual display unit (including a mobile phone), which is being used as a driver’s aid function, such as a GPS, may only be used in a motor vehicle if it is secured in a fixed mounting. This mounting must be commercially designed and manufactured for this purpose. It must be positioned in the vehicle to not distract or obscure the driver’s view.

Fines and demerit points apply for non-compliance to these new road rules.

Changes to the use of electronic devices in vehicles are just one of the amendments to current legislation that came into effect on November 1st. More information can be found at www.rms.nsw.gov.au