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What is the fine for using your mobile phone whilst driving?

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Updated 27 Jul 2020

Rowan Johnstone

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When New South Wales installed mobile phone detection cameras throughout the state in late 2019, they introduced them alongside a warning only period, where drivers caught using their phones while driving would only be issued a warning instead of a fine.

However, once that warning period was over, 21,000 motorists were issued fines in the first two months. To compare, in the 12 months of the 2017-2018 financial year, motorists in Victoria were fined 30,000 times for mobile phone use while driving. That's only 5,000 every two months.  

Now, Victoria and Queensland have followed suit and are installing their own mobile phone detection cameras this week (27/07/2020). 

Hopefully, the possibility of killing another road user is enough to deter you from using your phone in the first place, but if for some strange reason it isn’t, then the possibility of copping these fines will hopefully do the trick.

If you are interested to know what the penalties are, lucky for you, you don’t need to actually get caught using your mobile just to find out. We’ll save you from getting the fine in the mail by listing all the relevant penalties below, you can thank us later!

Disclaimer: The following fines are current as of 27/07/2020.

New South Wales

It’s a $349 fine and five demerit points. If you get caught in a school zone, the fine goes up to $464. Remember, It’ll also cost you 10 points if you’re caught during double demerit periods.


You’ll be looking at a $1000 fine and 4 demerit points. Repeat offenders receive double demerit points if caught again within 12 months from the previous offence!


Get caught using your phone whilst driving in Victoria and you can wave goodbye to $496 and four demerit points.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT has split their fines into two categories. You’ll cop a $480 fine and three demerit points for handheld phone use. This goes up to $589 and four demerit points if you’re actively using your mobile device for messaging, social networking, using an application or anything else!

South Australia

Getting caught in SA will see you fined $534 and lose three demerit points.

Western Australia

Similar to Queensland, you’ll be fined $1000 and lose four demerit points.

Northern Territory

$500 along with three demerit points.


$336 and again, three demerit points.

So, whilst Queensland and Western Australia are equally the worst place to be caught using your mobile phone whilst driving, the fines in other states are still pretty hefty.

And if all other states do follow New South Wales’ lead by installing mobile phone detection cameras, it will only get harder and harder to get away with it, although I’m not sure why you would want to in the first place.

In most states, having an open drivers license means you can use your mobile with a hands-free setup, but that’s about it. Don’t get caught out and don’t put your life, and others, at risk just because you absolutely have to send that text or snap to your mate.

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Written By

Rowan Johnstone

On weekdays Rowan can be found in the AutoGuru office, driving content and growth with the rest of the marketing team.

On weekends you’ll probably find him in the garage with his dad restoring a 1958 Ford Star Model Customline or enjoying a cruise through the Gold Coast hinterland on his Suzuki GSX-R600.

Despite his passion for being behind the wheel (or handlebars), he looks forward to the day when he can commute to work in his own driverless car.