Australian road rules
The Australian Road Rules form the basis of State and Territory rules of the road for motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, passengers and others. They are ‘model laws’ that were initially created in 1999 under an agreement under which each Australian state and territory agreed that it would adopt the Rules into its laws.
The purpose of the 1999 agreement was to provide for uniformity across Australia in relation to road rules so that people were not confronted with different requirements as they travelled from one state or territory to another. However, while the States have all adopted the Road Rules into their respective legislation, the Rules have not always been adopted exactly or consistently by each jurisdiction and some slight variations still exist from State to State.
AMTA therefore recommends all drivers refer to the specific laws in their State or Territory to ensure they know exactly what they can and cannot do with their mobile phones behind the wheel.
The National Transport Commission is responsible for the Australian Road Rules and you can obtain a copy of the Rules from the National Transport Commission website.
It is illegal in all States and Territories to use a handheld mobile device while driving.
In all States and Territories of Australia you can only use a mobile phone to make or receive calls while driving if it is in cradle fixed to the vehicle and doesn’t obscure your view of the road or if it can be operated without touching the phone e.g. by Bluetooth or voice activation.
It is also illegal in all States and Territories to use a mobile phone for texting, messaging, photos, emailing, social media or video calls while driving.
“Keep your hands off it” is therefore a simple rule to remember when it comes to mobiles.
And “keep your eyes on the road” is our best advice for safe driving. While it may be legal to use your mobile while driving, it may not always be safe and drivers should always pay attention to road conditions and manage distractions to keep safe on our roads.
However, as details around the road rules can vary in each jurisdiction so we advise making yourself familiar with the road rules for your State or Territory.
To check the road rules specific to your State or Territory please click the links below: