Mobile phones and distractions

Two seconds on your phone at 60km/h is 33 metres driving blind. Information about distracted driving penalties and offences.

Know the Distance of Distraction

Distracted drivers are a serious risk on our roads. In 2020, 20 fatalities were the result of inattention-related crashes. Between 2016 and 2020, inattention-related crashes resulted in 524 people killed or seriously injured.

Most drivers and road users know that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, but a call, text or post is not the only reason we are distracted behind the wheel.

Mobile phones, activity along the street, children in the back seat, adjusting vehicle or radio settings or eating a snack can all cause a driver to be distracted from their most important task – driving safely.

If you glance away from the road when driving for just two seconds at 60km/h, you're effectively driving blind for 33 metres. Even worse, at 100km/h, you miss 55 metres of road.

It might only be a second or two, but if you’re changing a song on your playlist, finding your sunnies, or even doing your make-up, you’re not looking at the road ahead.


Avoid All Distractions

  • Turn off your mobile phone when driving.
  • Adjust all vehicle controls before setting off.
  • Turn off your MP3 player when driving.
  • Take a break rather than eat, drink, smoke or groom yourself while driving.
  • Check a map before starting the journey to know what lies ahead.
  • Ask passengers to be quiet if you are having difficulty concentrating while driving.
  • Ensure pets are properly restrained in the vehicle.
  • Recognise what makes you distracted and avoid that activity when driving.
  • Make sure the vehicle’s windscreens and mirrors are clean and unobstructed.

Mobile Phone Offences and Penalties

A driver or rider of a vehicle can only touch a mobile phone to make, receive and terminate a phone call if the phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle.

If the phone is not secured in a mounting, it can only be used to receive or terminate a phone call without touching it (e.g. using voice activation, a Bluetooth hands-free car kit, ear piece or headset).

It is illegal for the driver of a vehicle to create, send or look at a text message, video message, email or similar communication, even when the phone is secured in a mounting or can be operated without touching it.

GPS may be used by a driver whilst driving if no touch of the keypad or screen is required.

Offence Penalty Demerits
Touching or holding a mobile phone while not in a cradle to make, receive or end a voice call. $500 3
Creating, sending, or looking at a text, email, social media, photo, video or similar. $1000 4

 

Announcements

News story

Know the Distance of Distraction

This road safety campaign shows exactly how much you miss when you take your eyes off the road by using real world props as the unit to measure the distance of distraction.
The LifeToll: Make every journey safe
News story

WA crash survivors' toll of road trauma

Ahead of a busy festive season on WA roads, Minister for Police and Road Safety, Michelle Roberts along with the Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner yesterday launched a new campaign, reminding drivers that a momentary lapse in concentration behind the wheel can change your life forever.
News story

Priorities - Distractions

Road Safety Commission’s Driver Distraction Education Campaign aims to build awareness of the significant danger of being distracted whilst driving – particularly through use of a mobile phone device.
Page reviewed 1 October 2021