Learner P1 and P2 drivers

Due to their lack of experience and increased road safety risk, more restrictions apply to Learner and Probationary (L and P) drivers and riders than those who are fully licensed when it comes to distracted driving.


L and P platers when driving cars or riding motorbikes cannot:

  • operate portable devices (such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops) in any way, including for phone calls and navigation
  • use voice controls to operate any devices
  • enter text, numbers or symbols
  • scroll (such as on websites, social media, playlists)
  • play videos or games or take video calls,
  • display text messages, social media, emails, or photos
  • rest a device on any part of the body, or pass a device to a passenger

A limited number of interactions are allowed with mounted and inbuilt devices. These are outlined below.

Rules for mobile phones, tablets, laptops, media players and game-consoles (portable devices)

As an L or P plater, you are not allowed to operate a non-mounted portable device in any way when driving, even when stationary but not parked.

When driving, you must not:

  • Touch a portable device (regardless of whether the device is on or off)
  • Look at the display of a portable device being operated by another person
  • Allow a portable device to be in your lap or resting on any part of your body or clothes (unless it is in a pocket or a holding pouch attached to your clothes e.g. to your belt)
  • Operate a portable device at all - not even by using voice controls
  • Have any ongoing activity on a portable device while driving (such as audio or navigation).

If you want to operate a portable device on a motorbike or in a motor vehicle, you will need to be parked.

Rules for mounted devices (mobile phones and tablets) and inbuilt navigation and entertainment systems

For mobile phones and tablets to be considered a “mounted device”, the mounting must be commercially designed and manufactured for that purpose, and the device must be secured in the mounting.

As an L or P plater if you use a mounted device or an inbuilt device while driving, you must not:

  • Scroll or enter information, text, numbers or symbols on mounted or inbuilt devices.
  • Use voice controls to operate any mounted or inbuilt devices.
  • Use the device for:
    • Reading or writing text messages, emails, message threads or viewing websites;
    • Watching movies, TV, video games or other moving images;
    • Viewing social media and photos;
    • Video or audio calls.

However, as an L or P plater you can:

  • Use mounted devices for navigation and playing audio (such as music or podcasts) providing it is set up before a journey commences. For navigation, a safer option is to only use the GPS audio directions and avoid looking at the images on the screen. You must pull over and park to change a song or enter a different address. You are not permitted to touch a mounted device for any purpose during a drive.
  • Briefly touch your inbuilt device to adjust navigation settings, climate controls and audio functions (such as the radio).

Rules for smart watches, smart glasses and wearable heads-up displays

When driving you cannot:

  • Touch a wearable device (other than by incidental contact with the device caused by the driver wearing the device)
  • Operate the device using voice controls
  • Look at the display of a wearable device being operated by another person in the motor vehicle

What can I do with a wearable device?

  • You are allowed to play or stream audio material on a wearable device, provided it is set up before you begin driving, or by pulling over and parking first.
  • You can only operate the wearable device by permitting ongoing activity on the device. This means you will need to park before you can touch the device or before you can use voice controls to adjust the volume or change what audio is playing.

Rules for Motorbike helmet devices (head up displays, communicators, cameras and inbuilt or secured mobile phones)

Other than using the device for images or information associated with the safety or operation of the bike, L and P platers can only use motorbike helmet device for:

  • Playing or streaming audio material (music, podcasts, audio books)
  • Navigation

However, you must not:

  • touch the device or use voice controls when doing the above.

The functions need to be set up before you start driving, and you must pull over to change the settings.

Penalties apply to offences related to these distracted driver road rules. Also, mobile phone and seat belt cameras have been introduced in Victoria. Read more about the penalties and the new cameras here.


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