Watch out for new driver distraction: Smart watches and driving

Road safety authorities have warned that new smart watches have the potential to distract drivers just as much as mobile phones.

And it’s not a stretch to suggest that in time we’ll have penalties governing the use of smart watches while driving, similar to the current laws on mobile phones and driving.

Unlike ordinary wrist watches, smart watches have many more functions that can distract drivers including receiving texts, emails and calls and a variety of apps.

Mobile Phones and Driving in NSW

As a reminder, it’s now against the law to handle your mobile phone while driving, but you can still use your phone to take calls and play music if you can operate it hands-free, or if its secured in a commercially-made cradle.

You must not hold a mobile phone in your hand while driving, other than to pass the phone to a passenger.

And you are not allowed to use your mobile for other functions like texting, emailing, and video messages.

If you’re using your mobile phone for GPS, then again the phone must be secured by an approved cradle that does not distract you or obscure your view of the road.

The laws apply while your vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked). So you can still use your mobile phone normally, if you have pulled over and parked by the side of the road.

P1 and Learner drivers are not allowed to use mobile phones at all while driving.

The penalty for illegal mobile phone use is three demerit points (or four if the offence occurs in a school zone) and a fine.

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