Using a Mobile Phone While Driving In NSW

Criminal legal

Offences and Charges for Using a Mobile Phone While Driving

The use of mobile phones while driving has become a concerning issue on roads across New South Wales (NSW). Distracted driving due to phone use poses a serious risk to road safety, increasing the likelihood of accidents and endangering lives. In this article, we will explore the various offences and charges associated with using a mobile phone while driving in NSW and discuss the defences available for those facing such charges.

Texting or Sending Messages

Typing, sending, or reading text messages or emails while driving is strictly prohibited.

Talking on Handheld Phones

Holding a mobile phone to engage in voice calls is an offence, as it diverts attention from the road.

GPS and Navigation Apps

Manipulating a GPS or using navigation apps on a handheld device while driving is considered an offence.

Streaming and Social Media

Watching videos, accessing social media platforms, or browsing the internet on a mobile phone while driving is illegal.

Penalties for Using a Mobile Phone While Driving

Fines and Demerit Points

Offenders face significant fines and demerit points on their driving record, depending on the severity of the offence.

Double Demerit Points

During holiday periods and long weekends, using a mobile phone while driving may result in double demerit points.

License Suspension

Repeat offenders risk having their license suspended, and they may also incur a longer disqualification period for subsequent offences.

Available Defences

Emergency Situations

If a driver can demonstrate that phone use was necessary to address an emergency, it may serve as a valid defence.

Legal Use of Mobile Phones

Drivers may use hands-free devices, such as Bluetooth headsets, mounted phones, or voice-activated commands, without violating the law.

Innocent Interpretation

In some cases, drivers may argue that they were not using a mobile phone while driving, and that the alleged offence was a misunderstanding.

Honest and Reasonable Mistakes

A driver might present an honest and reasonable belief that they were not using their phone inappropriately, which could be considered as a defence.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Reduced Reaction Time

Engaging with a mobile phone while driving significantly impairs a driver’s reaction time, leading to delayed responses in critical situations.

Diverted Attention:

Focusing on a mobile phone takes attention away from the road and other vehicles, increasing the risk of collisions.

Increased Accident Risk

Drivers using mobile phones are more likely to cause accidents due to reduced situational awareness.