Are you wondering how to get off mobile phone offence in traffic law matters? Using a mobile phone while driving can have serious consequences, both for the driver and other road users. It is important to prioritise road safety and avoid using your phone while driving.
Remember that using a mobile phone while driving is not only illegal but also dangerous, and it can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Read on to learn how to get off mobile phone offence, its legal implications, and useful tips to avoid the offence.
The Dangers of Using Mobile Phones While Driving
Mobile phone usage while driving is a dangerous practice that can lead to distracted driving and subsequent accidents. Here are some reasons why it is dangerous:
- Distracted driving: Using a mobile phone while driving can distract the driver from the road and decrease their awareness of their surroundings. This can lead to more car crashes and put other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk.
- Impairment: Some studies have concluded that the impairments associated with mobile phone use behind the wheel can be as extreme as those associated with drunk driving. This means that using a mobile phone while driving can impair the driver’s ability to react to sudden changes on the road.
- Texting: Texting is one of the most alarming distractions associated with mobile phone usage while driving. Even if it’s for a while, a driver can never know how far he has travelled while texting.
- Fatal errors: Driving while distracted can result in a wide range of errors, some of which may be fatal. These include a lack of awareness of surrounding road users and traffic signals, delayed reaction times, and poor decision-making skills
- Legal implications: Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in many jurisdictions, including Australia. Depending on the state or territory, the penalties for mobile phone offences while driving can include fines (between $362 and $481), demerit points, and licence suspension.
How to Get off Mobile Phone Offence: NSW Government Rules
1. Learner, P1 and P2 drivers: You must not use a mobile phone for any reason while driving, even when you are stationary. This includes making or receiving calls, texting, using maps and navigation, or checking social media. Click here to read our article about mobile phone usage for learner, P1 and P2 drivers.
2. Drivers with a full licence: There are only two ways you can use a mobile phone whilst driving:
- Hands-free phone usage: You can use your phone hands-free (without touching it) to make or receive calls and play audio.
- In a phone holder: You can use your phone in a phone holder to make or receive calls, play audio, and use it as a driver’s aid, such as for maps and navigation.’
3. Using a mobile phone when parked: All drivers can use a mobile phone for any reason when parked out of the line of traffic, even if the ignition is on. Let’s use an example of how to get off mobile phone offence if you are parked out of sight.
Steve is a driver who is driving from Forster to Parramatta. Along the way, he needed to make an important call to his wife. He knew that it was dangerous to call his wife while driving so he parked at a nearby parking lot to make the call. An officer suddenly got out of his police vehicle and accused him of illegal mobile phone use. However, NSW Government states that a person can make a call if they are parked out of the line of traffic.
4. Exemptions: There are two exemptions to the rules on using a mobile phone while driving:
- You can use your phone to show your digital driver’s licence when instructed by a police officer.
- You can use wallet functions to make a transaction or show a voucher. However, you can only do so in areas such as a car park, driveway, or drive-through, and when the vehicle is stationary.
Learners or Provisional licence holders cannot use Bluetooth or the hands-free function on their phones. They can also not use their phone as a navigational tool, even when it is securely mounted and affixed to the vehicle to be used as a visual display. Unrestricted licence holders are the only ones with permission to do so.
Regulation 300-1 of the Road Rules 2014 provides the rules for Learner and Provisional Licence holders. The rule states: “The driver of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle or a police vehicle) who is the holder of a learner licence or a provisional P1 or P2 licence must not use a mobile phone, whether or not held by a driver, while the vehicle is moving or is stationary but not parked.”
How to Get off Mobile Phone Offence? Helpful Tips
Using mobile phones while driving is a dangerous practice that can lead to accidents and injuries. Here are some tips on how to get off mobile phone offence while driving:
1. Mount the phone near eye level: A good phone mount holds the phone near a driver’s normal line of sight through the windshield. This eliminates the need to look down and minimises the time your eyes are off the road.
2. Use a phone-friendly in-dash system: Some cars have in-dash systems that allow you to control your phone without taking your hands off the wheel. These systems can be safer than using your phone directly.
3. Try a “do not disturb while driving” mode: Many smartphones have a “do not disturb while driving” mode that can automatically silence notifications and calls while you’re driving. This can help reduce distractions and keep you focused on the road.
4. Turn off your phone: This is one of the most helpful tips when knowing how to get off mobile phone offences in Australia. This way, you can eliminate the temptation to use it. You can turn it back on when you are done driving.
5. Place the phone out of your reach: If you can’t turn your phone off, put it on vibrate or silent mode. You can also place it out of your reach, such as in the glovebox.
6. Use an app that restricts phone use while driving: There are apps available that can restrict phone use while driving. These apps can prevent you from using your phone while driving and help you stay focused on the road.
The Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
Have you been accused of using your mobile phone while driving when you were not actually using it? What if you were following the right laws to avoid traffic offences? Do you know your rights as unrestricted driver licence holders, P1 and P2, and Learner drivers? We at JB Solicitors can help you defend yourself against such charges and inform you of your rights as drivers. Our traffic lawyers can:
1. Review the evidence against you: A lawyer can review a variety of evidence that the prosecution and the police have gathered against you such as:
- Police officer reports about you using your mobile phone illegally.
- Traffic camera footages
- Present demerit points and your demerit point threshold limit; and
- Any other relevant evidence
2. Cross-examine the prosecution witnesses: At trial, your lawyer will have the opportunity to cross-examine prosecution witnesses and the infringement notice lodged against you. This is your chance to challenge their evidence and cast doubt on their credibility.
3. Present a defence case: If you have any evidence that can support your defence, your lawyer can present it to the court. This could include evidence from witnesses, expert witnesses, or even from you.
Contact us today if you want to know how to get off mobile phone offence with our lawyers.