Legal

Shannen Findlay

“Is this real?” Fury over motorist’s “ridiculous” driving fine

“Is this real?” Fury over motorist’s “ridiculous” driving fine

A NSW man has been left confused over what he claims is a “ridiculous” fine.

Mr Bulis was driving along the Pacific Highway at Heatherbrae, in NSW's Hunter Region on April 22 just before 10 pm when he was pulled over by a police officer.

Taking to Facebook, he wrote, “The passenger next to the driver was playing with laptop and I get a fine for distracting?

“Is this real? I cannot believe it.”

Bulis attached a screenshot of a fine amounting to $337 and three demerit points.

The post amassed over 145 comments of mixed thoughts.

“Must have been a quiet day,” one comment read. “Unless the passenger was flicking the screen around to you saying, ‘look at this’ or it was visible to you then I’d be taking it to court.”

Another asked if the fine was “real or a joke".

However, many users pointed out that although the fine was bizarre, it was legitimate.

Under NSW Road and Maritime Services’ general driving offences, it is under the same category as using a mobile phone while driving called “Drive vehicle with TV/VDU image visible to driver”.

While having a phone or screen visible to a driver carries a hefty penalty, the rule does not apply to GPS Systems, ticket issuing machines, dispatch systems, rear-view screens or navigational equipment.