Driver's desperate excuse to get out of $362 mobile camera fine

The motorist claims he was doing something else behind the wheel and has asked people if they think he can get out of the fine.

A truck driver’s desperate plea to get out of a $362 fine for using his mobile phone behind the wheel has divided opinion online.

The man, who is believed to have been driving in NSW at the time, took to Facebook to share his frustration and ask for some advice. “I received a $362 fine and five demerits for using my phone while driving,” he wrote. “The thing is, my phone was in my pocket and I was holding my vape in my hand!”

An aerial image of the man holding something in his left hand while driving.
The driver argues he was holding a vape in his left hand while his mobile was in his pocket. Source: Facebook

Driver admits he was using something else behind the wheel

The baffled motorist went on to explain that he has “a big phone” so when he sits down it “sticks” out of his pocket. “My hand was on my legs with my vape in,” he continued. “[It] looks like the screen on my phone is on, I [must have] pressed it accidentally without realising.”

It was unfortunately then that fate struck.

“No luck, at that moment was the phone detection camera,” he said. “The thing is, I wasn’t holding or using my phone at all. Do you think I can ask for a review based on these pictures?”

The driver added that English was not his first language and he sometimes struggled to explain himself correctly. “[The] important thing [is], I am a truck driver,” he said. “My licence is everything for me.”

An aerial shot of a woman in a car using her mobile whilst driving.
Penalties for using a mobile fine behind the wheel vary between the states and territories with fines of $1,033 in Queensland. Source: AAP

Facebook users urge driver to fight the fine

Many on social media were quick to take the man’s side.

“Go to court, you will win,” one person said. “Absolutely take it for review,” another wrote. “It’s quite clear that it’s a vape in your hand not a phone.”

“Honestly I have no idea how you can tell, let alone prove, that that’s actually a phone,” another commented. “[You] should have no problem getting out of that,”said another. [Your phone is] clearly not in use and tucked into [you] pocket.”

But not all Facebook users were as sympathetic. “If it’s ‘so big’ why have it in your pocket for one and secondly it’s not to be on your person,” someone wrote.

“[It] looks more like it’s [the phone] been quickly slid into the lower lap of your seatbelt,” another said. “It also seems a bit strange to be driving around with a phone digging into your hip roll like that.”

Another told the driver that they didn't like their chances of getting out of the fine.

While it is illegal to hold a mobile while driving in Australia, or have it resting on any part of your body, you can have a phone in your pocket. Fines for using a mobile behind the wheel range widely across the states and territories. In Tasmania motorists will be hit with a $346 fine for doing the wrong thing, while the penalty in Queensland jumps to $1,033.

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