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The NSW Government has introduced new laws which commence from 1 December 2016 to prohibit drivers who hold a Provisional P2 licence from using their mobile phones while driving. This provision is part of a range of amendments from the Baird Government aimed towards preventing the increasing number of road fatalities.

Currently, P2 licence holders are able to use mobile phones for calls and audio purposes only. This is permitted only when the phone is securely mounted, or an automated audio device such as Bluetooth is used. The law prohibits touching a phone whilst driving.

However, Learner and P1 licence holders are prohibited from using a mobile phone at all while driving. This includes phones in the hands-free mode, with the loud speaker operating. A Learner or P1 licence holder is only able to use a mobile phone in a vehicle whilst parked out of the line of traffic.

From 1 December 2016, P2 licence holders will no longer be permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding a motorcycle. The previous restrictions as to mounting the device or using a hands-free service no longer apply, and P2 licence holders are prohibited from using any function of a mobile phone. This means that P2 licence holders are subject to the same restrictions as Learner and P1 licence holders.

From 22 January 2016, the penalty for breaching this restriction will be four demerit points. For learner and P1 drivers, this loss will exceed their demerit point threshold and the driver will face a three-month licence suspension.

If you have been charged with any driving offence, contact the Traffic Offences team at Kells to discuss likely penalties and your options moving forward.