It has been made legal for drivers in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, to use a phone to pay in a drive-through of a fast food outlet or at the boom gate of a car park.

In an Australian first NSW drivers are permitted to use their phone as a digital wallet, provided their vehicle is stationary and off road, in a car park, drive-through or driveway.

“A number of stakeholders have expressed concerns about the road rules preventing drivers from using a mobile phone to make purchases in drive-throughs or at parking stations,” said Bernard Carlon, Executive Director of Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety. “We’ve listened to those concerns and we’re responding appropriately to keep pace with the way people interact with technology every day.”

Carlon says it is important that drivers know the rules about mobile phone use and obey them as they could be caught anywhere, anytime. The penalty for illegal mobile phone use is $344 ($457 in a school zone) and five demerit points, or 10 demerit points during double demerit periods.

“However, if a driver is stopped safely and not in traffic like at a car park or drive through and remains in control of the vehicle while using their phone to make a payment, they will not be fined,” he added.

Drivers are also permitted to access their digital licence on a mobile phone while behind the wheel, if asked to present it by a NSW Police officer.

To find out more about the mobile phone road rules, please visit: