Is a mobile phone steering wheel mount legal in Australia?

It is well known that mobile phones need to be “secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle” in Australia, but does a mobile phone secured in a mount affixed to the steering wheel, a “phone steering wheel mount”,  meet this requirement?Is a mobile phone steering wheel mount legal in Australia?

I emailed the Western Australia Road Safety Commission to clarify, and whilst it may meet the secured in a mount requirement it produces a number of additional problems.

The response is below.

Please be advised that, while it may meet the definition of a mounting for the purpose of the mobile phone regulations, there are a number of issues which are of concern. These include:

  • It may interfere with the deployment of the air bag;
  • It may become a projectile when struck by the airbag;
  • It obscures the instruments, notably the speedometer, or (if installed the other way up) the road ahead;
  • As it occupies such a large proportion of the steering wheel’s circumference it is our view that it does compromise proper control.

On this basis, I believe it would contravene vehicle standards regulations most notably Reg. 235(5) of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 which covers changes or alterations to the body or equipment of a vehicle in a way that adversely affects the safe operation of the vehicle.