'Is this real?': Drivers divided over man's 'ridiculous' driving fine

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

He was driving on the Pacific Highway at Heatherbrae, in the Hunter Region, on April 22 just before 10pm when he was pulled over.

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

“Is this real? I cannot believe it.”

The man attached a screenshot of the fine which includes a $337 fine and three demerit points.

A NSW driver was stunned after he copped a fine over his front-seat passenger using a laptop. He shared a screenshot of the fine on a computer.
A NSW man was perplexed by this fine he received for his front seat passenger using a laptop while he was driving. Source: Facebook

“Drive vehicle with TV/VDU image visible,” it reads.

It appears the man also submitted it for review.

“Must have been a quiet day,” one man wrote.

“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 it was “real or a joke”.

But many pointed out the fine was legitimate and NSW Police confirmed it was with Yahoo News Australia too.

Under NSW Roads and Maritime Services’ general driving offences it falls under the same category as using a mobile phone while driving.

It’s called, “Drive vehicle with TV/VDU image visible to driver”.

In NSW, drivers are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle while someone in the front passenger seat uses a laptop or TV screen. Pictured is a stock image of a man using a laptop.
It's illegal in NSW to operate a motor vehicle while someone in the front passenger seat uses a laptop or TV screen. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

The two offences, using a phone and having a screen visible, carry the same penalty too – a $337 fine and three demerit points.

However, under the 2014 Road Rules the rule doesn’t apply to GPS systems or driver’s aids – including ticket issuing machines, dispatch systems, rearview screens and navigational equipment.

NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia “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 parked.

It’s also illegal if that screen is “likely to distract another driver”.

In March, a NSW man was hit with a $448 fine which might have prompted many readers to wash their cars.

Another man was also warned over his use of Coles Stikeez while driving.

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