Woman fined $362 for holding phone while driving – but it's not what you think

The road safety camera incorrectly identified the item in her hand as a functioning mobile phone.

A road safety camera allegedly caught a woman red-handed for holding a 'phone' while driving, but upon closer inspection the item in her hand is not as it first appears.

The motorist was driving along Princes Highway in Tempe, in Sydney's inner-west, on February 10 when the act was caught on camera, Nine News reported.

After receiving the $362 fine in the post, accompanied by five demerit points, she questioned the letter. When she saw the photographs from the road safety camera, they revealed she was instead holding her daughter's bluey toy — which just so happened to be phoned shaped.

The bluey toy held by the Sydney woman.
The woman reportedly claims she was holding a Bluey toy which enables children to interact with characters from the popular show using voice activation. Source: Bluey.tv and Nine

The widely popular Australian children's show is based on a cartoon dog and the 'Bluey Ring Ring Phone' lets users play games and interact with the show's different characters.

Yahoo News Australia have reached out to Transport for NSW for comment. Transport for NSW spokesperson Tara McCarthy told Nine the penalty notice will be reviewed.

What constitutes as illegal phone use for motorists?

Although road safety laws differ slightly between states and territories across the country, it is agreed that motorists holding a phone or resting one on their lap is illegal, with Queensland recently tightening laws around mobile phone use while driving.

It is deemed to be distracting and dangerous for motorists to hold their phone, regardless of what function they are carrying out, and are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash if they do.

Aussies are subject to hefty fines if they disobey phone use driving laws. Similar to the Sydney woman, NSW motorists can cop a $362 fine, or $481 fine if caught in a school zone, as well as five demerits, while Queensland continue to lead the charge with the priciest fines at $1,078 and four demerit points on their licence, while Victorians can be fined $545.

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