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NSW Phone laws for learners

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by ViperAu, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Hey guys,

    Just throwing out a question for those who know the laws. I am currently on my learners and I am in a debate with the savage wolf known as 'THE WIFE'. A learner or provisional rider/driver cannot use a handheld device as such with hands free or without. However the debate is can a learner have an intercom without having Bluetooth turned on, on the phone.


  2. As a learner I would suggest to you that in your first ventures out LEARNING to actually ride and cope with traffic you leave all distractions firmly at home or off and in your pocket whilst riding and concentrate on the riding and staying alive.

    I know its hard for you young pups to be separated from your gadgets and shiny trinkets, but be told and just do it.
  3. Lol, yeah though I'm 23 and OVER Technology. Shyt keeps breaking for far too much to buy again and again. I'm only wondering because in my learning I have been riding with a few family members and most have intercom which is ok but they have to keep yelling at me to tell me what they are up to etc. no probs not touching my phone or using it in any way just once in a awhile use ONLY intercom
  4. Easy, without intercoms, phones etc....decide before setting off where the next break/stop/pause etc will be and ride to it at your own pace.
    Another tip, I've often used leading groups at race schools, is a simple set of basic hand signals.
    If the more experienced riders in the group want to travel at a faster pace than your comfortable with, let them and then meet at the pre determined point down the road. Have your coffee, donuts etc, fill with fuel and decide the next 'milestone'.....repeat as needed...
  5. Ah. However, I am still in the need to know ' husband' 'wife' cat fight
  6. Yes, leave the intercom alone. It will only get you into trouble if it distracts you at a crucial moment.
    You only have a limited supply of attention to spend, exactly how much varies from person to person but we all have a limit. Paying conscious attention to other road users, varying road conditions and what your bike is doing all eat up that limited supply. When you run out you start to miss things, like cars pulling out in front of you, animals or debris on the road, or your tyres losing grip on the road surface. That lack of available attention means you take much longer to react to those unexpected things. With more skill and experience some of those things cost you less of your reserve. Adding an intercom or other communications device takes a big chunk out of that available reserve. If you're having to consciously think about everything as we all do when learning new skills (and especially whole groups of skills such as riding or driving) then you simply don't have anything like the reserves needed to safely use a communication device while riding. Some people never do.
    Your smartest option is to use the advice already given regarding hand signals and agreed routes and meeting points on rides rather than playing with another distraction you just don't need.
  7. I had a similar debate and I came to the conclusion that I was riding a bike again to enjoy the ride to work and around the countryside. Taking the phone with me defeated the whole idea of riding not driving. I use the Bluetooth when I drive and do a lot of good work with it. But the bike ride is for me not for work or the phone. So I don't have a comms device in my helmet. I might get one when I do club rides or such but even then I wonder if I really need the noise.
  8. Thanks mike for your 'ahem' extensive research into my debate. I know now to argue my point further and have a few less items in the future?
  9. I'd be interested in a straight answer about the law on this one too, because having an intercom between me and my girlfriend when we ride has been fantastic. Takes a lot of stress and confusion out of things, I've found. It seems to me that if you have enough free attention to make hand signals, you have enough to talk into a voice-activated intercom. But if you're being distracted by having your wife and/or relatives in your ear, definitely get rid of the thing, that's a hazard.

    That was a good point about always agreeing on the next stopping point before starting out, will definitely do that.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. However it's an intercom not a mobile phone
  11. That might not be a significant enough difference to get you out of a charge. Your best bet would be to ask a highway patrol cop, preferably one you're on good terms with, and see what they say. Failing that there are a few legal specialists on the forum you might be able to get direct advice from, or at least pointers in the right direction.
    I would suggest that the spirit of the law would be 'no comms devices at all without specific exception', but that's only my opinion.
    Honestly I'm not having any luck finding a definite answer, just several more people asking the same question with the same variety of opinions already seen here.
  12. You would need to tell it to the Magistrate I reckon if you were pulled over and the officer considered you were using the phone. Not sure how they would figure that one though. Depends how keen you are to talk to someone while you are riding I suppose. We all take risks.
  13. They can pull your phone records and see if you were on a call when you were pulled over or immediately before. It's really only a matter of how badly they want you and if they decide the expense of the warrant is worth it.
  14. #17 middo, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
    Most instructors will clip one onto your helmet for your lesson here in WA. I don't know if this is standard procedure elsewhere, but I would be surprised if they didn't use this tool for teaching.
  15. In my untrained opinion, if it's not forbidden then it's allowed. As a for-instance, using handheld UHF radios in cars isn't prohibited by the mobile phone laws.
  16. One would hope that the law holds a view that a comms device was not considered as distracting as dialling a phone or (insanely) texting or reading emails. But you know how it can go if they have had a bad day.

    I think the restriction on L and P1 seems quite logical and sensible. Surely we are all learning to focus on the road and the other people around you who are texting, doing their nails, yelling at the kids and drifting off into a dream state.

    Our Dept has banned all use of phones while driving. Blue tooth or not. But didn't feel the need to address using a GPS or talking on the radios (we have three). But then they also banned all smoking in National Parks. Even if you are in the car.
  17. Yeah it's a complicated situation. We'll never mind in the future I shall grab one. I'm thinking about an EOI for a learners run from campbelltown to the gong and stop for lunch or to Bondi stop for lunch in a few weeks