Skip links and keyboard navigation

Have your say on mobile phone distraction

Mobile phone distraction 

Driver distraction is a growing cause of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

A 2018 survey of 3000 Queensland drivers* found that 70% of Queenslanders use their mobile phone illegally in the car.

The most common was texting, with 48% of drivers admitting to texting at traffic and 22% of drivers saying they text while driving. Forty-six percent of drivers check email, social media and the internet at traffic lights, and 42% do so while driving. 

If you’re using your phone while driving, you’re not as focused on the road as you need to be. Your attention is divided. Your reactions are slower.

The unexpected can happen at any time – so even the smallest distraction can be deadly. Using a mobile phone when driving means taking your eyes and mind off the road – which can have serious consequences.

Even when your eyes are off the road for just 2 seconds, a vehicle moving at 60km/h travels more than 33 metres. The average person’s time to react to an event is 1.8 seconds. This means nearly 4 seconds can pass before the average distracted driver can react to a hazard, increasing their risk of a serious crash.

Find out more information on the risks of using your mobile phone illegally while driving.

Share your ideas on reducing the use of mobile phones on our roads.

Mobile phone rules 

To keep yourself and other road users safe your full attention is needed when driving. Driving while using a mobile phone held in your hand is illegal—even if you're stopped in traffic. This means you can't:

  • 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.

Learner and P1 provisional drivers under 25 must not use hands-free, wireless headsets or a mobile phone's loudspeaker function.

Learner and P1 provisional drivers' passengers are also banned from using a mobile phone's loudspeaker function.

You can be fined and have demerit points recorded against your traffic history.

Find out more information on what you can and cannot do with a mobile phone while driving and the penalties for using a phone illegally.

How we are addressing illegal mobile phone use 

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is committed to reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries resulting from distraction as part of its Safer Roads, Safer Queensland: Queensland's Road Safety Strategy 2015–21.

The Queensland Government brought together representatives from industry, government and academia to attend the National Summit on Driver Distraction. This includes vehicle manufacturers, device manufacturers, insurance providers, researchers, telecommunication providers, fleet managers, infrastructure planners, regulators and enforcement agencies.

The Summit explored solutions including safer design standards, fleet practices, compliance and enforcement measures, education and training strategies.

How you can help

We are all responsible for road safety and should all have a say in how we reduce the illegal use of mobile phones and other devices.

We want your ideas focusing on driver distraction to shape how we respond to this issue. 

Share your ideas by Friday, 2 August 2019 by emailing:

When emailing your idea please include the following information:

  • idea name
  • description

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is collecting your email address and ideas to shape our response to reduce driver distraction while using mobile devices. Your email address will be used for the purpose of acknowledging your ideas and providing a final response around the consultation process. The information you provide will be managed in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 and will not be used for any other purpose.

*Footprints Market Research. (2018). ‘Understanding Risky Driving Behaviour’. Research undertaken for the Department of Transport and Main Roads and BCM Partnership, Brisbane.

Last updated
09 July 2019