An image of a NSW police officer has sparked outrage after she was photographed on her phone while driving.
The image, shared to Facebook on Tuesday, showed the officer holding the phone to her ear and was captioned, “Umm yeah just going to leave this one. One rule for them, one rule for everyone else”.
Despite the furious responses from social media users, NSW Police told Yahoo7 News the officer photographed on the Central Coast on Wyong Road was doing nothing illegal.
“In NSW, drivers of police vehicles are exempt under Rule 305 of the Road Rules 2008,” the spokesperson said.
“Police officers may need to receive information about a job over their mobile phones for operational reasons, just as they might need to increase their speed to get to jobs without activating warning devices.
She said all officers are also “rigorously checked” against the state’s Safe Driver Policy.
However, that did little to members of the public who labelled it “a clear double standard”.
“The level of risk associated with being on a phone while driving is the same with or without a badge,” one woman wrote.
“Lead by example…. practice what you preach,” another commented.
“What happens to them if they themselves cause a serious accident by using phones behind the wheel?”
“Double standard, if we gotta use Bluetooth why can’t they?” another asked.
Others defended the officer, saying she may have been responding to an emergency.
“She might have been on her way to save your loved one, don’t be so quick to judge,” one woman wrote in defence of the officer.
“Sometimes these things need to happen to keep people safe and give advice to someone in need before they arrive. Not to mention that they have had extensive driver training,” another responded.