Mike Stevens | Feb 14, 2011

The Western Australian Government will soon introduce new laws that will allow motorists to make handsfree mobile phone calls while driving.

While most Australian states allow for handsfree calling, it is currently illegal on the west coast to hold a phone conversation while driving, handsfree or otherwise.

The new laws will come into effect on March 1, allowing drivers to make phone calls with a handsfree device, but not use their phones for any other purpose.

Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said that while motorists will now be able to use their phones, the state will continue to discourage their use.

"We are making it legal for you to make a call or receive a call, providing your phone is in a fixed holder and you have a hands-free kit," Mr Johnson said.

"We discourage people from making calls on their mobile phones while driving, completely discourage them."

Ironically, as WA prepares to ease off on its mobile phone laws, a new federal report suggests that more states may soon clamp down on mobile phones, banning on-road calls all together.

''Mobile phone use produces a significant increase in casualty crash risk, regardless of whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free," the report reads.

Presenting the report, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, said that the government's studies have shown that tough changes need to be made in order to make a real impact on road toll figures.

The report is currently being reviewed by federal and state ministers.

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