Using a mobile phone or other device, like a Smartwatch, while driving or riding can be distracting, increasing your chance of being involved in a crash or near crash. Looking at or touching a device at the same time as being in control of a vehicle is particularly dangerous.
Victoria’s mobile phone rules
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers must not use a mobile phone (hand-held or hands-free) for any function while driving (including while stationary but not parked).
Young drivers are over-represented in serious road crashes.
Mobile phones and other mobile devices (e.g. DVD players, tablet computers, Smartwatches) are major sources of distraction for young drivers, especially as these drivers are still building experience and developing skills.
Remember, all probationary drivers who reach 5 demerit points may incur a licence suspension.
Fully licensed car drivers
Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone:
• is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or
• can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, and the phone is not resting on any part of the driver’s body.
Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.
All drivers face tough penalties for illegal use of a mobile phone or interacting with other units that have visual displays while driving (e.g. DVD players or tablet computers) that are not driver’s aids.
The penalties are 4 demerit points and a $466 fine.
The penalties are 4 demerit points and a $466 fine.It’s a proven fact that using a mobile phone while driving can be distracting. Taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds or more doubles your crash risk. Research shows that the behaviour of a manual or visual distraction whilst driving causes crashes and near misses.
Smartwatches linked to phones or other devices perform a range of functions. Some of these functions should not be used while driving because they are covered by the road rules that limit using mobile phones or visual display units. Drivers should therefore avoid using Smartwatches while driving.
When a Smartwatch is worn by a driver it should not be used while driving for making or receiving phone calls, navigation, music, text or video messaging, email or social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).
Text or video messaging, email, social media use or similar communications should not be undertaken regardless of whether the Smartwatch is worn by the driver or not.
Fully licensed drivers may still use a Smartwatch provided it is not worn, and used as a:
1. driver’s aid (for example, as a navigation device) OR
2. music player OR
3. mobile phone to make or receive phone calls;
The driver does not touch anything on the Smartwatch (for example, making and receiving calls needs to be hands-free via Bluetooth or similar means)
is secured in a commercially designed mounting affixed to the vehicle (this may be unavailable).