NSW mobile phone laws catch up with technology
Drivers in New South Wales (NSW) can now legally use their mobile phone as a digital wallet or to access their digital licence while behind the wheel, but only under strict conditions, according to Transport for NSW.
Under the new laws, drivers in the state can use their mobile phone to pay for goods and services, as long as the vehicle is stationary and off road, in a carpark, drive-through or driveway, the regulator said. They can also present their digital licence if a NSW Police officer asks them to present it.
Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said the government is adapting legislation to keep pace with emerging technologies.
“A number of stakeholders have expressed concerns about the road rules preventing drivers from using a mobile phone to make purchases in drive-throughs or at parking stations,” Carlon said.
“We’ve listened to those concerns and we’re responding appropriately to keep pace with the way people interact with technology every day.”
However, it’s important that all drivers know and obey mobile phone rules as wrong-doers could be caught anywhere, at any time, Carlon added.
“Using a mobile phone while driving is a dangerous distraction. The penalty for illegal mobile phone use is $344 ($457 in a school zone) and five demerit points, or 10 demerit points during double demerit periods,” he said.
“However, if a driver is stopped safely and not in traffic like at a car park or drive-through and remains in control of the vehicle while using their phone to make a payment, they will not be fined.”
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