Drivers fined because passengers used video devices


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Drivers fined because passengers are using mobile phones
There is an obscure rule that police are using to fine drivers, and it has little to do with the driver’s actions
20 JUN 2019
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Cameron KIRBY
Siteassets Authors Cameron Kirby

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While it is well known that you can’t use your phone while driving, an obscure rule has resulted in a number of drivers being fined for their passenger handling a mobile device.
The infringement has been used by New South Wales police to fine two separate drivers because a passenger in their car was caught watching video. Not the driver but the passenger was the ‘culprit’ in each instance.

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One woman was fined in Catherine Field, southwest of Sydney, when her passenger was caught using a video-call function in the front seat. The Police issued a $337 infringement for “[driving a] vehicle with TV/VDU image likely to distract another driver.”
The second driver was fined on the Pacific Highway at Heatherbrae when his front passenger was seen using a laptop. This time the infringement was the more serious “[driving a] vehicle with TV/VDU image visible to driver”, which has the same $337 fine but also three demerit points.
Clarifying the rule, NSW Police said that “any part of the image on the screen” from a TV screen or a visual display unit must not be visible to the driver while the vehicle is moving or stationary, but not when parked.
The rule does not apply to GPS navigation systems, driver aids, and infotainment screens.

Distraction is a real problem for drivers. I closed Mum’s mirror in the sunvisor a couple of times because the images it reflected did catch my attention and could have distracted me.

However, I hope the drivers fined really were in real danger of being distracted.


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Problem seems to be drivers DO look at passengers phones/video devices.