CHOICE membership

New Answer To Idiots Who Use Mobile Phones Whilst Driving


I’m in Vic. Cannot find my source at the moment. I can guess that ‘legally’ parked would mean in a place where parking is allowed and with the car in parking mode: motor off, gear in ‘park’, handbrake on. I might be wrong.


Yes. I read that before I posted but I have previously read what I posted.

I clearly remember exactly what I read as I was intrigued as to why the parking brake was important, especially if the driver has an auto transmission in “park” or the driver has their foot on the brake pedal.

Perhaps it was not Qld or the rules have changed.


It is straying a little from the original question.

Is it important to note that there are differences in the traffic rules between states. Essential to any argument if you wish to try and justify why we need all these separate states with different police forces, law courts, and many many more politicians making a living out of the public purse?

The previously noted Qld reference requires the vehicle to be,
legally parked. Parked means stopped with the intention of staying at that place.
You might expect the courts have precedent to rely on to say how you might demonstrate the intent, while leaving it open to enable any new circumstance to be determined?

When NSW changed their traffic rules in 2013 the common advice was that when pulled over and using a mobile in the hand the engine must not be running!
The current rules per following require the “vehicle must be parked out of the line of traffic”.
The following also clarifys the comment re the engine being stopped!


I only ever park temporarily - why would you want your bike/car to stay somewhere? we buy them to move, not stay … :wink: (yes I know that is a little silly, but how long must my intention be? 5 minutes? overnight? to the end of my ‘current relationship’?, I know in the courts it often comes down to ‘reasonable’, which makes it even more undefined …)

The first set of dot points on that page show another confusing attempt at covering all the bases:

  • 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.

I wonder who comes up with this stuff - like saying “you can’t do A, you can’t do B, you can’t do C, and you can’t do anything else either” - it’s little wonder punters get confused and lawyers/police/etc are kept busy.

As the good Dr Asimov was quoted “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” … and … “Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.”

I wonder if a substantial part of the problem lies in how we have tolerated distraction while operating motor vehicles for years. Car radios, stereos, yakking passengers (know anyone who can’t talk to you while they are driving without turning their head to look at you?), two way radios, burgers / fries / drinks etc. Now with the high saturation of ‘smart devices’ that demand even higher levels of concentration to operate, a problem that has been around for many decades and been relatively unrecognised is now a blindingly obvious deadly pandemic which some are still ignorantly willing to defend, with a mouthful of double quarter pounder and a thickshake while they talk on the phone …


Luckily for us the people tasked with enforcing the law don’t have any distractions in their vehicles :rofl:


‘ Stopped with the intention of staying at the place ‘ might be demonstrated by you turning the car’s engine off and applying the hand brake?:thinking:


How long should our intention be to be parked in that place:
as long as the parking sign allows, and/or before the parking meter expires?:thinking:


Who writes this stuff? How does the intention of staying contribute to safety? (which is after all what this should be about)


Not me. I only do serious. :rofl:
At least we now know how some people make a living if they fail the auditions for ‘The International Comedy Festival’?

Only one way to go since ‘Red Faces’ got the gong! :joy:

P.s. none of this changes the original point of the topic. We still need a solution to the real problem of distraction by mobile phones affecting drivers, and as others point out even pedestrian behaviour!


Indeed - I’ve parked on the side of a major highway, 3-4 metres or so off the road (it’s usually remote/outback for me, so the verge is huge), to answer a call - usually it’s to call someone back by that stage because it has gone to message. Particularly in summer, I’ll leave the engine running - it’s not uncommon to be 45 C outside and the aircon barely keeps up when (not according to QLD pollies) parked. I have zero intention of staying there for longer than the call. Typically I leave my mobile at home though, and ride …

Snipers on overpasses?


A high resolution camera should be sufficient.

‘Cheeeeeeee se’ :smiley:



I’ll sometimes take a call hands free on Bluetooth but ask the caller to hold on until I can safely pull over (stationary, out of the line of the traffic, in a legal spot). Like you, I don’t intend to “stay at that place” for any longer than it takes to deal with the call.

It shouldn’t at all depend on my future “intentions” and it shouldn’t really depend on whether the engine is running or not and it shouldn’t depend on whether the electrics are on or not. (Fairly obviously if I am going to continue the call on Bluetooth then I want the electrics on.)

The most important thing is whether the car is moving - and just about every smartphone can tell whether the phone is moving or not.

Perhaps an enforcement measure that could be reasonable would be to amend Australian standards to require all new cars sold in Australia after a certain future date to have Bluetooth (or comparable) capability.

However one thing I’ve noticed in our car is that if there is more than one phone in the car with Bluetooth enabled, it is a fairly clunky process to get the driver’s phone paired and no other phone paired. There is room for improvement in the car UI. (Maybe it works better in cars that cost twice as much and which have automatic driver recognition and configuration.)


An article regarding UK Police rolling out a system which detects when mobile phones are being used in moving vehicles.

It is not clear whether the warnings are from fixed signs or police vehicles.

It is also not clear whether detecting Bluetooth being used triggers the warning or does not do so.

I would have thought that detecting a Bluetooth signal would mean that the phone is being used handsfree.


Looks like some people only learn the hard, and very expensive, way.


Looks like some motorists will be having an expensive Easter.

And with the detection cameras catching 800 a day, the coffers will be overflowing.



You just can’t help stupid.


That is the case but have you noticed our laws keep trying? Every year there are more and more laws with more and more fines that hit more and more people just going about their day as best and safely as they can, yet the ‘stupid people’ who do ‘stupid things’ continue being ‘stupid’ at whatever the current cost.

At some point the continually ‘more law’ are going to have some pushback. Road rules are among the tops where only the fine givers seem able to keep up with the new technicalities of finable breaches introduced each year, often without much fanfare.

Even the rules for mobiles, while well intended, go over the top. Banning using a phone whilst driving a vehicle on a road should be enough to get the job done. But one must pull over, park, set the handbrake, and sometimes have the engine turned off to even touch one. A bit over the top in my world, but apparently reasonable in others’ worlds.


Another case of someone using their mobile phone whilst driving and resulting in a fatality.

Some of them cannot even look after their phones whilst not driving.

When we went to our local Bunnings a couple of weeks ago, I went to put our puppy in the top of a shopping trolley in the carpark when I noticed a smartphone had been left there which we handed in at the service counter.

More recently whilst I was shopping at our local Supa IGA, I noticed another smartphone had been left on top of some item on the shelf outside the deli display which I handed to a staff member.

If people cannot even remember to not leave their mobiles behind when in stores, how can they possibly be smart enough to not use them when driving?

Smart phones, dumb owners?


Another case of “you just can’t help stupid”.



More video surveillance not necessarily the answer:

Chinese driver gets ticket for scratching his face