Mobile Phones

The dangers of distraction

Driving is a complex task. Anything that takes your mind or eyes off the road, or your hands off the wheel, not only compromises your safety, but that of everyone else on the road.

Make sure you know the rules about mobile phone use when driving and watch our animated video.

Mobile phone detection cameras operate across NSW targeting illegal phone use. The program includes both fixed and transportable trailer-mounted cameras. Along with regular enforcement operations by NSW Police, these cameras target illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.

Being distracted increases your chances of having a crash. It slows down your reaction times and puts you in danger of failing to see hazards such as traffic lights, stop signs or other road users, including pedestrians and bicycle riders. Avoid the temptation of using your mobile phone illegally while driving:

  • Use a mobile phone cradle fitted in your vehicle
  • Get Bluetooth set up or installed in your vehicle
  • Get a passenger to answer your messages/calls
  • Put your phone on silent
  • Activate the ‘Do not disturb while driving’ function on your phone (e.g. Apple iOS or Android)
  • Tell others not to call or text you when you’re driving
  • Divert your calls to voicemail
  • Pull over when and where it’s safe and legal to do so

Get Your Hand Off It

Are you driving blind?

Research shows that being distracted when driving, such as by a mobile phone, increases the risk of a crash. Simply taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, doubles the risk of a crash. At 60 km/h if you look at your phone while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind. A short lapse of concentration can have lifelong consequences.

See how far you travel at different speeds when you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds:

Travel speedMetres travelled in 2 seconds
40 km/h22.22
50 km/h27.78
60 km/h33.33
80 km/h44.44
100 km/h55.56


Our Get your hand off it campaign has evolved to highlight the serious consequences of using your mobile phone illegally while driving, which could cost you or those you care about everything.

The campaign also encourages drivers to know the rules about mobile phone use.

Dangerous problem

Crash data from 2010 to 2014 showed there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers was identified as a contributing factor. This included seven fatal crashes and 116 injury crashes. These crash numbers are considered to be under-reported because of the difficulty of finding evidence of illegal mobile phone use at crash scenes. This suggests the size of the problem could be much greater.

From July 2014 to June 2015, more than 35,300 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for using hand-held mobile phones, showing the problem is still prevalent.

Main messages

  • It’s not worth it. Get your hand off it
  • At 60 km/h if you look at your phone while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind

Speed limits

Slowing down saves lives

Speed is the biggest single danger on NSW roads, contributing to about 40 per cent of road fatalities each year. International and Australian research shows that even small reductions in vehicle speed can reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injuries caused by crashes. A small decrease in vehicle speed can make a big difference to your chances of survival.

If a car hits a pedestrian at 50 km/h the pedestrian is twice as likely to die than if the driver had been travelling at 40 km/h. For every extra kilometre per hour of speed:

  • The stopping distance increases
  • The time to react and avoid a crash decreases
  • The impact of a crash is more severe on the vehicle, driver, passengers and pedestrians
  • There is more likelihood of serious injury or death

Plan B

Don’t drink and drive

You need to plan ahead to get home safely after a night out – if you’ve been drinking, don’t drive.

Positive choices

The Plan B drink driving campaign began in August 2012. It is about making positive choices to get home safely after a night out, highlighting that driving is not an option. With practical options to avoid drink driving, Plan B takes a humorous and positive approach designed to engage the community about making alternative arrangements to get home after a night out. The campaign emphasises that police mobile random breath testing (RBT) operations can happen anytime, anywhere.

Drink driving behaviour

Drink driving is one of the biggest causes of death and injury on NSW roads. In 2011, there were 70 people killed and 1182 people injured in crashes involving drivers who were over the legal blood alcohol limit. Men make up 87 per cent of drink drivers involved in fatal crashes.

  • Plan ahead on how to get home after a night out
  • Some Plan B’s are smarter than others
  • What’s your Plan B?
  • Drink and drive, and you will face the consequences
  • RBT means you need a Plan B