Driver Knowledge Tests

Mobile phone road rules

You can use a mobile phone when driving, but only under certain circumstances because they are a distraction. Here are the rules.

Learner and provisional P1 (red Ps) and P2 (green Ps)

You’re not allowed to use a phone at all when in control of your vehicle, including when you’re waiting at traffic lights, at a railway level crossing waiting for a train or stuck in traffic. If you want to use your phone, park out of the line of traffic and turn your engine off.

These restrictions include using your phone for a GPS. If you need GPS functions you will need to purchase a dedicated GPS. A GPS must be secured to the car using a cradle, or be part of the car’s built-in features.

Full licenced drivers and cyclists

You can make or answer a call and use any audio playing functions (e.g. music, streaming radio or email/text readers) only if the phone is in a fixed cradle that doesn’t obscure the road (e.g. attached to the dashboard) or it can be operated without touching it (e.g. by voice activation or via Bluetooth using the car’s controls) in which case it can be in your pocket.

You can use driver aids such as navigation and speed advisers only if the phone is in a fixed cradle that doesn’t obscure the road. If the navigation is audio-based, the phone can be in your pocket.

You can dial a number while the phone is in a cradle, or by using the car’s Bluetooth functions.

You can use your phone to make a payment while in a restaurant drive-through lane.

Those are the only to situations you can use the phone. Therefore, you can’t use it for texting or audio texting, emailing, using social media, taking photos, video messaging or holding your phone in any way except to pass it to another person in the vehicle. This includes balancing it on your knee or between your shoulder and your ear.

Simple answers

Can you text while driving? No, not even if it’s in a cradle

What is a ‘cradle‘? A commercial designed and manufactured fitting designed to fit to the car’s dashboard or windscreen that holds a phone securely.

Can you use GPS on your phone while driving? Yes if it’s secured in a cradle; but not at all on learner, P1 or P2.

Can you listen to music on your phone? Yes on full, as long as the phone is in a cradle or it can be operated via Bluetooth; no if your a learner or P1.

Can you use the phone while stopped at traffic lights? Only if it’s hands-free, and not for P1/P2/learner drivers.

Can the mobile phone be touching any part of your body if it’s in use? It must only be in a cradle or in your pocket, not on your lap, in your hand or touching any other part of you or your clothing.

Demerit points

Using a mobile phone attracts four demerit points which means that your licence will be immediately suspended if you are caught.

Using a mobile phone at all while driving is illegal for P2 drivers.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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