The law concerning the use of mobile phones by drivers of vehicles has changed from 26 July 2021.
Prior to 26 July 2021, the law regarding the use of a mobile phone in Queensland was that a driver of a motor vehicle was not permitted to use a mobile phone that the driver was holding in their hand while the vehicle was moving or stationary but not parked. If it could not be established that a driver was holding a phone in their hand while the vehicle was moving or stationary but not parked, then an offence could not be proven.
The change to the law has broadened the definition of “using” a mobile phone to include resting the phone on any part of the driver’s body:-
- whether or not the phone is on or operating; and
- whether or not for the purpose of operating the phone or a function of the phone; and
- whether or not the phone is partially or wholly supported by another part of the driver’s body or another thing.
This means that drivers of vehicles who rest their phone on their lap could be committing an offence.
However, an offence will not be committed if the mobile phone is:-
- In a pocket of the driver’s clothing or in a pouch worn by the driver and kept in a way that does not allow the driver to operate the phone or a function of the phone other than by using only the driver’s voice and does not allow the driver to see the face of the phone while the phone or a function of the phone is operating.
- In a wallet or has attached to it a wallet that the driver is using while the vehicle is stationary to:-
- obtain and produce for inspection a licence, permit, authority or other document as required under an Act or by a police officer or another person acting under an Act.
- Obtain and use money or another form of payment to pay for goods or services if the place where the vehicle is stationary is a place where the goods or services are lawfully paid for (e.g. drive through retail outlet).
- Obtain and use a card or other thing to enter a road related area or land adjacent to a road related area.
- Being used while the vehicle is stationary:-
- to produce for inspection a digital authority or other document stored on the phone as required under an Act or by a police officer or another person acting under an Act.
- To pay for goods or services, if the place where the vehicle is stationary, is a place where the goods or services are lawfully paid for.
- To use the phone as an electronic device that enables the driver to enter a road-related area or land adjacent to a road-related area.
The previous exemption for drivers of emergency vehicles or police vehicles has also been retained.
You can be fined $1,033 and have 4 demerit points recorded against your traffic history for using a mobile phone illegally while driving. This includes when you’re stopped at traffic lights or stopped in traffic.
Double demerit points apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offence committed within one (1) year after an earlier offence.