Mobile phone rules for young Queensland drivers

Can I use my mobile phone’s hands-free setting while driving?

Can my friends take calls on loudspeaker when they are in the car and I am behind the wheel?

These questions are answered, along with the penalties for doing the wrong thing, in the above video.

It aims to help young drivers understand some of the rules regarding the use of mobile phones while on their Learner, P1 and P2 driver licences.

RACQ Manager Education said young drivers should set their phone to “do not disturb” before driving and forget about it or risk a hefty $1000 fine. 

“Learners and red P-platers (P1) should set their phone by replying to their messages and checking their social media updates and activating their phone’s ‘do not disturb’ function before getting behind the wheel,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Drivers should then forget about their phones for the drive.”

Ms McKenzie said the ban on inexperienced drivers using mobile phones was about limiting the likelihood of distractions.

“When you’re new to driving it’s essential that all of your attention is focused on what you’re doing and setting your phone up so it’s not able to distract you while you’re driving,” she said.

All licence holders are banned from holding their phones while driving.

This includes while the vehicle is stopped in traffic because of congestion or at lights. 

It also means you can't: 

  • Hold the phone next to or near your ear with your hand. 
  • Write, send or read a text message. 
  • Turn your phone on or off.
  • Operate any other function on your phone. 

Learner and P1 licence holders aged under 25 have tougher restrictions and can’t use a phone’s hands-free or Bluetooth functions, wireless headsets or the loudspeaker function. 

Restrictions extend to the passengers of this category of licence holder. Passengers cannot use a mobile phone's loudspeaker function while a Learner or P1 driver under 25 are behind the wheel.

These restrictions don’t apply to P2 licence holders (green P-platers) but, like those on an open licence, they can only use hand-held mobile phones if they have pulled over and parked in a safe place.

Drivers caught breaking mobile phone laws face the following penalites:

  • $1000 fines and four demerit points for open licence holders. This applies to everyone with an open licence including car, truck drivers and motorcycle riders.
  • Double demerit points apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offences committed by drivers within one year of an earlier offence.
  • Learner drivers can lose their licence after just one mobile phone offence.
  • P-platers will lose their licence or face a one-year good driving behaviour period.