Driver Knowledge Tests

P2 licence holders must not use mobile phones

From 1 December 2016, P2 licence holders will no longer be permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. These are the same restrictions as learner and P1 licence holders.

Why are P2 drivers completely banned from using mobile phones?

Research has shown that talking on a phone, even if it’s hands-free, increases the risk of having an accident. Estimates range from 2-6 times more likely to have an accident, and a whopping 9-12 times more likely if you are dialing or texting.

This also applies to using a phone as a GPS or for listening to audio so that there is no temptation to look at messages that might show on the screen. This is an issue for drivers who use the phone in a cradle where the screen is visible while driving. Apps such as Facebook and Gmail, plus incoming text messages display notifications on-screen.

You are permitted to use a regular GPS unit and (presumably, as they have not been mentioned by the new legislation), you can use non-transmitting music devices such as an iPod.

When can full licence holders use their mobile phones?

  • If the phone is secured to a cradle, or it can be operated without touching it, the driver can make or answer a call and use the audio playing function.
  • If the phone is secured to a cradle fixed to the vehicle it can be used as a navigation device.

When are full licence holders prevented from using their mobile phones?

  • Texting or audio texting
  • Emailing
  • Using social media
  • Taking photos
  • Video messaging
  • Holding your phone in your hand or on your lap, other than to pass it to a passenger.
mobile phone use in a car

You can’t use your phone while stationary at a red traffic light. If you want to use it, you must be parked and out of the line of traffic

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

Posted in Advice
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