We all know using a mobile phone while driving is illegal and carries a hefty fine.

Legally drivers and riders may touch their mobile phones to make or receive phone calls, if the phone is mounted to the vehicle. If the phone is not mounted, it may still be used to make or receive calls provided this can be done via Bluetooth or voice activation.

But what about iPads/iPod or other music devices? (Perhaps as a secondary question why would you want to use an iPad/Tablet while driving anyway?)

It is illegal for drivers and riders to use mobile phones for the following activities: texting and audio texting, video messaging, emailing, using social media, using mobile phone applications other than for navigational purposes, and taking photos.

However, in an example of legislation not necessarily following technology, it will come down to whether your tablet is a phone. The ordinary definition of a phone is a device for voice calls. If you can’t make or receive calls on it then arguably it isn’t a phone. Although if you can still send text messages, videos and emails much like a phone, then the line starts to become blurry.

But to the letter of the law, if it isn’t a phone then there is no prohibition.

However, you should be aware that if your use of a device causes an accident you will probably still be issued with an infringement for negligently driving a vehicle.

Of course drivers should keep their eyes and focus on the road and vehicle and avoid being distracted for obvious reasons.

The ACT Government released the ACT Road Rules Handbook in August which includes new Australian Road Rules 2000, and is a useful point of reference for all drivers, not just learners.

– Phil Schubert