An infringement notice for using your mobile phone could cost you 5 demerit points and a fine of up to $2,200.
There are ways to avoid the demerit points for a “use mobile phone” offence. In fact, we have helped many people to keep their licence by doing exactly that.
Contact us to discuss the best way to keep you on the road.
What is the law about mobile phones in cars?
The laws about using a mobile phone while driving in NSW are surprisingly tough
What you can’t do:
- Hold your phone (even if you’re not using any functions)
- Look at anything displayed on the screen
- Turn the phone on or off
- Enter information into the phone or send information from the phone
- Operate any function of the phone (e.g. make calls, send messages, use an app)
What you can do:
- Take calls via hands free (making sure you don’t touch the phone)
- Take calls if your phone is mounted properly in a holder
- Use “driver’s aids” (e.g.. GPS navigation) if your phone is mounted properly in a holder
- Pass the phone to a passenger
Basically, it’s safest not to touch your phone at all unless your car is parked (i.e. pulled over and engine off) or you have handsfree or a phone mount.
What are the rules for learner and provisional licence holders?
The rules are stricter for learner and provisional licence holders. They are not allowed to use or touch their phone at all unless the car is parked.
Infringement notice for “use mobile phone” - what are my options?
An Infringement Notice gives you the option to finalise the matter by paying a fine and incurring demerit points. This is the simplest way to deal with the matter.
However, if you are not guilty or need to avoid the demerit points you might be better to contest your infringement notice in court.
There are risks to taking a case to court, including higher fines and a criminal conviction. Call us to discuss whether you could benefit from contesting your infringement in court.
What if I’m not guilty?
Sometimes the police make mistakes. It is not unheard of for an officer to think that someone was using their phone when they were not.
If you did not commit the offence, then you should consider contesting it in court. Otherwise it will be recorded on your traffic record, and you will be treated as if you committed the offence in all future dealings with courts and police.
Call us to discuss whether you should defend your case.
How can I avoid the demerit points?
What if my car was stationary when I touched the phone?
You may be surprised to learn that you can be guilty of using your mobile phone even if the car was not moving.
The restrictions on using a mobile phone apply unless the car is parked (i.e. pulled over and engine turned off). This means that you cannot use the phone while stopped at traffic lights.
Although not a complete defence, being stationary can be a powerful factor in reducing the penalty. We have successfully avoided demerit points in many cases where drivers touched their phones while their cars were stationary.