NEWS

It's Now Illegal For NSW Learners To Use Phone Navigtation Apps

Chances are you're not using your phone legally either.

02/12/2016 12:58 PM AEDT | Updated 03/12/2016 6:35 AM AEDT

Learner and P-Plater drivers in NSW can no longer use a phone in any way while driving. This means no navigation, no playing music, no using a safe phone cradle, no nothing.

Safety experts are praising the move but some people aren't happy.

Facebook / Reddit
A Facebook status shared by a Reddit user.

Here are the new rules straight from the Centre for Road Safety website, which came into effect on December 1.

Learner, P1 and P2 licence holders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. You must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your phone in any way.

These laws encourage learner and provisional drivers and riders to concentrate on developing their vehicle control and hazard-perception skills.

Mobile phone use can distract novice drivers and riders from the driving task.

Learner and P1 drivers and riders penalised for illegally using a mobile phone (four demerit points) will exceed their demerit point threshold and face a three-month licence suspension.

P2 drivers and riders will have three demerit points remaining if they are penalised for illegally using a mobile phone.

Driver Safety Australia managing director Russell White told The Huffington Post Australia inexperienced drivers had enough going on without extra distractions.

"They're still at a point in their career where they're experiencing a lot of firsts," White told HuffPost Australia.

"Any distraction will compromise your ability to deal with those new situations.

"Research shows that just hearing the 'ping' of a phone will send you down a distraction spiral. Really, if it's dangerous for one road group, we need to ask ourselves if it should be illegal for all groups."

Is what I'm doing illegal?

I stop at the lights, key in an address, start the navigation and rest it on my lap.

This is illegal on a few counts. Firstly, you have to be pulled over with the ignition off if you want to touch your phone. Secondly you can't have the phone touching any part of your body while you're driving.

I pull over, grab my phone and start a navigation with voice prompts. Then I rest the phone on the passenger's seat/drink holder and drive.

This is still illegal. Firstly, you have to have the ignition off if you want to touch your phone. Secondly you can only have your phone using an 'auditory function' if it's in a cradle fixed to the vehicle and can be operated without touching any part of the phone.

I pull over, turn off the ignition, grab my phone and start a navigation with voice prompts. I then put the phone in its cradle, turn on the ignition, and drive.

Legal! Yay.

I do the above, but I'm a P-Plater in NSW.

Sorry bud, it's illegal for you to interact with your phone in any way while driving.

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