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New Driver Distraction Road Rules introduced in Victoria 2023

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Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

New road rules have been introduced to regulate the use of portable, wearable, and inbuilt devices while driving a vehicle or riding a motorbike. These new rules expand on the already established sanctions in place for mobile phones and took effect on the 31st of March.

These rules were made to reflect the increase of in vehicle technologies capable of distracting a driver as distractions are involved in at least 11 percent of fatalities each year. As one third of drivers admit to using their phones illegally while driving – these new sets of rules are being applied to keep up to date with modern technology and keeps our roads safe.

The rules now not only cover Mobile Phones and visual display units. They now include:

  • Portable devices (unmounted mobile phones and tablets)
  • Wearable devices (smartwatches, wearable heads-up display)
  • Inbuilt devices (Information, navigation and entertainment systems, heads-up display that is an inbuilt part of the vehicle)
  • Mounted devices

However, rules for L and P platers differ from those on their full license.

Road Rules for Learners, P1 and P2

More restrictions apply to those not on a full license as they do not have as much experience driving.

If you are on your L or P (green or red) then you have certain restrictions. You cannot:

  • Operate portable devices (including mobile phones, tablets etc.) This includes phone calls and navigation.
  • Use voice control to operate any device.
  • Text
  • Scroll on your device
  • Play videos or games/take video calls.
  • Display any messages or social media on your device while driving
  • Rest a device on any part of the body or pass a device to a passenger.

If you want to operate a device in your vehicle, then you must be parked.

Mounted devices are also heavily restricted. They are only to be used for navigation and audio; however the driver must be pulled over if they want to enter a new address or change a song. Please also note that there are separate rules for devices that are mounted.  For more information on this please read more on the Vic Roads website here.

Road Rules for Fully Licensed Drivers

Those who hold a full licence cannot touch an unmounted portable device. This includes phones, tablets, laptops, and any other types of electronic devices. 

While driving you may not do the following for all types of devices (portable, mounted, wearable and in built)

  • Enter texts
  • Scroll on any websites or apps
  • Play videos, games or take any video calls
  • Display messages on any form of messaging apps (email, text, social media, photos)
  • Rest a device on any part of the body or pass a device to a passenger.

There are differing rules for portable, mounted, wearable and in-built devices.

To read a more in depth look at the rules for the array of devices please read more on the Vic Roads website here

Road Rules for Bicycles, electric scooters, recreational vehicles

All the above rules apply to Bicycles, electric scooters, and other recreational vehicles too. These recreational vehicles include Skateboards, Rollerblade’s, Electric Personal Transporters (such as Segways).

Professional Drivers

If you drive for work and are required to interact with a device to perform your job, then certain interactions are permitted.

These include

  • Accepting or rejecting a job (Delivery drivers or form of passenger transport)
  • Gathering information (Delivery or bus drivers getting information about their journeys)
  • Maintaining security (monitoring passengers of livestock in a vehicle)
  • Maintaining safety
  • Facilitating passenger movement (e.g operating the doors of a bus)


While the rules have been updated due to the ever-growing presence of new technology in vehicles, the penalties are currently the same.

Any illegal use of these devices will see the offender get a $555 fine (potentially up to $1,849 if the matter is heard at court) and four demerit points. However, there will be a three-month introductory period for the new camera – detected offences, during which warning letters will be sent to the offenders opposed to fines. This introductory period will run from the 31st of March to the 30th of June 2023.

To learn more, visit the Camera Saves Lives website.

Those on their L or P plates will lose their permits if they acquire more than 4 demerit points with the space of a year. This differs from those with a full license who can accumulate up to 12 within a 3-year period.

Mobile phone and seat belt detection cameras

In order to enforce these new restrictions, new mobile phone and seat belt cameras will be implemented throughout Victoria. The cameras will capture drivers who are holding mobile phones or any other devices whilst driving. They will also be able to detect those who are not wearing a seat belt.  If the camera finds a passenger not wearing a seat belt, the driver will be the one sent an infringement notice.

Want to read more about TAC in Victoria? See some blogs related to this topic below:

Claiming transport accident benefits if you’re at-fault

How to make a TAC claim when injured by an Unidentified Vehicle

Claiming for medical and like expenses in Victoria