Drivers around Sydney have been spotted eating, doing their make-up and even reading textbooks by the Daily Telegraph. According to the report, there’s nothing cops can do about it because of “legal loopholes” in our road rules. This is patently rubbish.
The Daily Telegraph claims these distracted drivers are using a loophole to “treat their cars like a bedroom, bathroom or even a study”.
That loophole being that the legislation doesn’t explicitly say that those drivers cannot do their distracting activities – unlike using a mobile phone. That’s the same logic used in the Air Bud movies (“Ain’t no rules says a dog can’t play basketball!”) Um, that’s not how the law works.
All states and territories have their own road rules and they all have variations on the following: “A driver must not drive a vehicle unless the driver has proper control of the vehicle.” Fines and demerit points apply for those that don’t.
Reading a book is not maintaining proper control of your vehicle. Doing your make-up is not maintaining proper control of your vehicle. Eating a bowl of cereal is not maintaining proper control of your vehicle.
People don’t always get caught when they break the law. You only need to wander into any major city around Australia to see jaywalkers aplenty. Don’t confuse seeing someone getting away with something as that being legal behaviour.
In a statement to the Daily Telegraph, Traffic and Highway Patrol chief inspector Phil Brooks said “We want road users, drivers, riders, cyclists and pedestrians to keep their eyes on the road at all times, be aware of others and share the road safely.”
Put the book down and keep your eyes on the road. Stay focused and drive safe.