There are significant consequences for using your mobile while driving with only few exceptions in New South Wales.
In March 2020, New South Wales became the first State to implement the use of mobile phone detection cameras. The cameras utilise high-definition and infra-red flash to capture a clear image inside the front cabin of your motor vehicle. The images captured are then reviewed by artificial intelligence software. Any image flagged by the software will then be manually verified by trained personnel and then an infringement notice is then issued to the offending driver.
Given the fact that research indicates that mobile phone use may be as damaging to driver awareness as high range drink driving the Court is understandably taking a hard line approach to enforcement of the limited circumstances in which a driver may use a phone, those being set out in the Road Rules as where:
“the phone is being used to make or receive an audio phone call or to perform an audio playing function and the body of the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle while being so used, or is not secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle and is not being held by the driver, and the use of the phone does not require the driver, at any time while using it, to press anything on the body of the phone or to otherwise manipulate any part of the body of the phone, or the phone is functioning as a visual display unit that is being used as a driver’s aid and the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle”
Should you be caught using your mobile other than in accordance with the above while driving, or while stationary but not parked, you may be issued an infringement notice with fines of $362 or up to $448 in a school zone and will be subject to the loss of 5 demerit points, or you may be charged and the court can impose penalties of up to $2200. Given the demerit points applicable to this offence the risk of a drivers licence suspension is significant during double demerit point periods.
If you have been issued with a mobile phone infringement or a Court Attendance Notice, contact our experienced Criminal Law Team for advice on (02) 9525 8688.