A young driver was left distraught after being hit with a fine and demerit points for breaching a little-known road rule.
Following her nursing shift, 20-year-old single mum Celina Sleiman had collected her daughter from daycare and was driving home when she was pulled over for a Random Breath Test (RBT).
After returning a negative result, she told viewers in a viral TikTok video that NSW highway patrol officers proceeded to fine her for two offences she believed were completely unjustified.
The young woman was fined for having her mobile phone connected to her car's stereo via Bluetooth, which is illegal for restricted drivers. It's unclear if Ms Sleiman was driving with P-plates at the time.
"I ended up walking out with $1000 of fines, I got two fines, and five demerit points, all because I had my Bluetooth attached," she said in the video, first uploaded over the weekend.
"OK that's against the rules, I didn't f****** know that. My daughter doesn't stop crying unless her Ariana Grande song is playing over and over again, I don't touch my phone, I don't use my phone, I don't talk on my phone, it was simply there for the music," she said.
"Because not everyone can afford these flashy cars that just come with s*** connected to your phone."
NSW Centre for Road Safety rules stipulate that drivers on any kind of restricted licence should not use their phone for any function, even if it is connected to the vehicle's stereo system via Bluetooth.
Whether the phone is in a cradle or connected with Bluetooth, Leaner and Provisional drivers are not permitted to use it for calls, GPS, music or any other function.
The fine for illegal mobile phone use is $349, or $464 if detected in a school zone, and a five demerit point penalty.
Fined over child restraint
The mum said she was also fined for having her child improperly restrained in the back seat, but claimed she had been preparing to stop and fix her daughter's seat belt when she was pulled over.
She said her daughter, no matter what kind of harness she was put in, always managed to get out of her seat when the car was moving.
"I told them, 'do you know how many times I have to pull my car over just to re-do her seatbelt? I was just about to do that'," she told viewers.
The mum maintained that she was not doing anything wrong, and had done everything in her power to keep her daughter safe.
"At the end of the day you need to treat people a bit kinder and you need to know who the f*** you're charging and giving out these fines to," she said.
"I understand why these fines are in place because people do stupid s*** on the road, but when you know that the person you're charging seriously did not know [the rules] and didn't think they were doing anything wrong, and no one was in danger, do you have the heart to let them off?"
The mum received a mixed response from viewers on her video, some saying there was no excuse for her daughter not being properly restrained, while others empathised with her.
Debate over mum paying the fines
"My son is always getting out of his belt, I would be screwed if I got pulled up. I always have my phone plugged in too, I thought that was OK," one comment read.
A police officer who formerly worked as a nurse said she had seen multiple children die in car accidents because they were not properly restrained.
Someone else argued the mum was wrong to attempt getting out of the fines by saying she was a single, hard-working woman.
"I think pay it, or fight it," they wrote.
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