30 Oct Mobile phones and driving in South Australia
The Advertiser has published an interesting article in relation to the use of mobile phones. The statistics are staggering. One in three fatal crashes so far this year have been linked to distraction ad many of those involve mobile phone use. South Australian Police have caught 2519 people using their mobile phones from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019. This is an average of 27 a day.
In South Australia the fine for using a mobile phone has increased from$344 to $534 plus $60 victims of crime levy on 1 July. The offence also attracts three demerit points.
How can you use your mobile phone legally?
For full licence holders and P2 licence holders Rule 300 of the Australian Road Rules state how and in what circumstances you can legally use a mobile phone while driving. They are as follows:
You can make a phone call, dial a number and receive a phone call while driving if the phone mounted.
If the phone isn’t mounted and being used via blue tooth, a headset or earphones then you can make or receive a phone call, as long as you are not touching the phone or having it rest on your body (being in your pocket or a pouch is fine). If you are making a phone call in this way you can touch the earpiece or headphone to use the phone.
If you are parked (this doesn’t include being stationary at lights or in traffic) you can use your phone freely.
If you are the driver of an emergency vehicle or police vehicle you can also use your phone freely.
When is it illegal to use your mobile phone while driving?
- create, send or look at a text message or email.
- enter or place anything into the phone or send or look at anything that is on the phone.
- video call or video message.
- turn the phone on and off.
- operate any functions on the phone (other than dialling a number if the phone is mounted).
- hold the body of your phone at any time unless you are passing the phone to a passenger.
If you are on your Learner’s permit or a P1 licence holder you cannot use mobile phones or hands-free devices at any time.
The law in relation to using your mobile phone while driving is tricky and difficult to navigate, particularly with Apple Watches and other devices on the market. Should you be charged with using your mobile phone while driving call our office to obtain advice on whether the matter can be defended.