Cradles and hands-free
Unfortunately, it is an all too common sight to see drivers at traffic lights with their heads bowed tapping away or holding and looking at their mobile phone beneath window height on their lap to avoid detection from police.
Using your phone this way is not only illegal in every State in Australia, it is also highly dangerous as it increases a driver’s need to look away from the road.
In all Australian States and Territories drivers are required to have their mobile phone completely hands-free or mounted in a dock or cradle affixed to the car if they want to talk on the phone while driving. Australia-wide laws also allow for the use of Bluetooth and hands-free devices provided the driver does not touch the handset unless it is mounted in a cradle.
A legal and far safer way to make a phone call in the car is to place your phone in a cradle affixed to the windscreen or dashboard at eye line level and to use the loudspeaker function or Bluetooth and hands-free devices.
Car cradles can be very inexpensive and when attached to the dashboard or windscreen can reduce risks associated with reaching for handsets and help minimise eye time off the road by getting the phone up to the eye line level with the road and within easy reach. Research has shown reaching for objects in cars increases crash risk by 8.8 times for adult drivers.
However, legal hands-free phone use is not appropriate in all road and traffic situations and drivers should consider whether to make calls in heavy traffic, at intersections or in bad weather or poor road conditions.
To check the road rules specific to your State or Territory please click the links below: