Is It Illegal To Use Your Phone In A Drive-Thru?

Have you ever scrolled through your phone while waiting in line at a Macca’s drive-thru?

NSW Police have this week confirmed that drivers could be fined with illegal mobile phone use if they’re caught using their phones in drive-thrus.

Drivers caught in contravention of the law could be fined $337, making for a very expensive Macca’s run!

Using your mobile phone while in a drive-thru falls under the category of illegal mobile phone use, which is prohibited by the Road Rules 2014 (NSW).

The law

It is an offence under rule 300 of the Road Rules 2014 to use a mobile phone illegally while driving.

The rule states that the driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while their vehicle is moving or is stationary but not parked unless:

  • The phone is being used in an audio function (such as receiving a phone call or playing music) and the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle
  • The phone is not being held by the driver, and the use of the phone does not require the driver to touch the phone at any time

The law outlines that your vehicle must be out of the line of traffic and parked before a driver is permitted to use their mobile phone in any other way.

Provisional licence holders

A driver who holds a P1 or P2 licence cannot use a mobile phone while driving under any circumstances.

P1 licence holders who commit this offence will be fined. They will also reach their demerit point threshold and receive a licence suspension for three months.

P2 drivers will also be fined, and they will accrue 5 demerit points (out of a maximum of 7).

Penalties

The penalty for illegally using a mobile phone while driving was raised to 5 demerit points in 2018.

This means that drivers who are caught using their phones in double demerits periods will accrue a total of 10 demerit points (out of a maximum of 13).

The demerit points will be accrued in addition to a fine, which will be at least $337.

Illegal mobile phone use

It is illegal to use your mobile phone in the following circumstances:

  • While waiting at traffic lights
  • While stuck in traffic
  • Making/receiving a call on loudspeaker if your phone is in your lap
  • Sending a text message, checking emails, taking photos etc

In addition to the circumstances above, it is illegal for P1 or P2 licence holders to use their mobile phones in the following ways while driving:

  • Listening to music with your phone secured in a cradle
  • Using the GPS function on a mobile

Charged with a traffic offence?

Hamilton Janke Lawyers has extensive experience in traffic matters and can advise you of your rights. If you, or a loved one, has been charged with a traffic offence contact Hamilton Janke Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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