New Phone Laws in WA

The State of Queensland recently introduced a $1,000 fine and 4 demerit points for anyone caught using their phone while driving.

From 1 July 2020, Western Australia will also impose a $1,000 fine and 4 demerit points. This will apply to anyone caught texting, emailing, using social media, watching videos or accessing the internet while driving.

Anyone caught touching their mobile phone while stopped at traffic lights, or taking a phone call while holding their phone will face a $500 fine and 3 demerit points.

What does the law currently say?

Currently, regulation 265 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 says that ‘a driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while a vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked’. The penalty for the offence is currently a $400 fine and 3 demerit points.

What does ‘use’ mean?

Using your phone means a number of things – including:

  • Holding a phone;
  • Resting a phone on any part of your body – for example resting in your lap;
  • Entering or placing anything into a phone;
  • Sending or looking at anything in a phone;
  • Turning a phone on or off;
  • Operating any other function of a phone.

The above may include but are not limited to making calls, choosing or changing music, texting, sending emails, using social media, looking at videos or photos, using the internet, or setting up maps/navigation.

For the purposes of the offence ‘use’ of a phone involves situations where you are using a phone while the vehicle is being driven and is actually moving. However the ‘use’ of a phone also includes using a phone while your vehicle is stationary but not parked – for example if you are pulled over at the side of the road, or sitting at traffic lights.

Learn what constitutes Carless Driving in Western Australia.

What is NOT using your phone?

You will not be using your phone in a way that breaches the law if:

  • The vehicle you are in is stationary and parked;
  • The phone is not in your hand or on your lap;
  • You are receiving a phone call, or a text, email or similar communication and the phone is secured in a mounting or holder that is affixed to the vehicle; and you do not at any time press anything on the phone or otherwise manipulate any part of the phone;
  • You are receiving a phone call, or a text, email or similar communication (but your phone is not secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle) and you are not holding your phone and you do not at any time press anything on the phone or otherwise manipulate any part of the phone;
  • The visual display of the phone is being used as a drivers’ aid (such as navigation) and it is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle and you do not press anything on the phone or manipulate any part of the phone;
  • You are a taxi driver and the visual display of the phone is displaying work-related information such as maps or dispatch systems;

Can I still use my hands free?

You can use your hands free to make calls, provided the phone is in a holder or you do not hold or touch your phone in any way while making the call.

Can I still listen to music on my phone?

Yes you can still listen to music – but you cannot touch your phone in any way. You should have your music selected before you start driving, or utilise the control buttons on your steering wheel to change songs.

What about using maps/navigation?

You can use maps or other navigation on your phone because it is a ‘drivers aid’. However – the phone must be secured in a mounting affixed to your vehicle and you still cannot press anything on your phone or touch your phone in any way. You should have your navigation set up before you start driving your vehicle.

What happens if I get caught using a phone while driving and accumulate all of my demerit points?

If you are caught using a phone while driving and it means that you accumulate all your demerit points you will be served with an Excessive Demerit Points Notice (EDPN). This means you will have two options:

  • Serve a 3, 4 or 5-month licence suspension (depending on the number of points accumulated), or
  • ‘Double or Nothing’ - undertake a 12-month good behaviour period. You can continue to drive during this period, however you cannot accumulate more than one demerit point or commit any offence which results in a licence disqualification. If you do – your original suspension period will be doubled and you must serve that suspension period. If you choose to elect to undertake ‘double or nothing’ you must do so within 21 days of your EDPN.

You will not be eligible for an Extraordinary Drivers Licence if you lose your licence due to demerit points.

We can Help

Andrew Williams represents clients in all courts for criminal and traffic related charges. As an experienced traffic lawyer, Andrew is passionate about attaining the best possible outcome for his clients. He is a phone call away and will provide sensible, easy to understand legal advice as well as committed and determined representation on all traffic and driving related matters.

Contact the law offices of Andrew Williams on (08) 9278 2575 or  enquire online today to discuss your traffic matter.

Contact our lawyers now

At Andrew Williams Criminal Law we're here to help you with the best legal advice.

Testimonials Hear from our valued Clients

I had Andrew deal with my case recently and couldn't of been happier with the result he got for me. From the start Andrew was quick to reply to any questions and queries I had regarding my matter. He was very professional in my opinion, very easy to talk to and explained things quite well. I felt very comfortable in the courtroom knowing that Andrew wanted to get the best result he could for me, and I would highly recommend Andrew Williams to ...

Colin W

I was on a very tight rope where if it balanced the wrong way it would have totally devastated my life.  Andrew was honest through the entire process preparing me for the worst but never let me give up and thankfully with his help got a great outcome that let me move forward with my family .I cant praise Andrew enough and recommend him 100%


Jason M

I cannot thank Andrew enough for his support and would not hesitate recommending your service to anyone who would need your help. I am eternally grateful to Andrew Williams who kept me informed as and when he had to and had no doubt in his professionalism. Thank you.


Pamela J
Pamela J

Had Andrew defend a reckless driving charge. He gave good solid advice throughout the process and defended me well at the trial. His costs were affordable and he was a great guy in general. The most important thing is we were able to have the charges dismissed via a not guilty verdict. I would recommend him to anyone.


Joly M
Joly M

Andrew represented me recently in a few difficult situations. I found him to be very professional, easily contactable and generally wanting a good outcome for me. I've passed his contact info to friends and if I ever need legal representation again I'll definitely be using his services.


Ryan B
Ryan B

After making several calls to various law firms, I came across Andrew Williams who was quick to respond providing knowledgeable, honest and friendly legal advice. At all times I felt confident in Andrew's ability to defend the charges. The case went to trial with an outcome of not guilty. I was awarded full legal costs. Could not be happier.


Matt K
Matt K

I trusted that Andrew was the person to defend my case in our initial contact on the phone. He was very confident in his approach, from the first point of contact to the court room. I believe this must be from years of experience. Another added bonus for Andrew is that he is very honest and fair. He tells you like it is in the book of law and does not appear manipulative. His communication skills helped me help him to form a best defensive arg...

Abraham A

Unhappy with my then representation, I went searching for a new lawyer. Andrew responded quickly and professionally to my enquiry. It was quickly apparent during the first meeting that Andrew was knowledgeable, honest and was committed to getting us the best possible outcome. Andrew looked at all avenues available to me in a Magistrates Court matter. He negotiated on my behalf with the prosecution, attended 3 court hearings and defended my ple...

Timothy R

After being charged with Common Assault of a minor I made a sensible decision not to use the local Kununurra law firm. I engaged Andrew Williams to assist me with resolving this matter (to the point of me being awarded costs). Despite being 4000km away I never had any issues with Andrew's commitment to my case. He promptly returned all calls and demanded I do likewise when important information needed to be exchanged. I found him to be an inte...

David C

Andrew Williams is a laywer of much dedication I will never have the words of gratitude and admiration for his honesty and integrity I would highly recommend him to anyone who may require his services in the future


Helen L

I just wanted to take my time to explain my experience with Andrew Williams. I had an incident that could have really affected my future. As anyone does I called around all the lawyers in Perth and just not any lawyer but the ones who are highly respected amongst other lawyers and get the results. I have a friend who works in the industry and she recommended Andrew. She said she always sees Andrew in the paper with amazing outcomes to cases th...

Phillip C

Very happy with my representation and fees by Andrew, I highly recommend him.


Damian A

I found dealing with Andrew Williams Law Firms to be quite pleasant and professional. I have nothing but utmost regard for this firm and would recommend anyone who needs a good criminal lawyer.


Andrew H

Go to top