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VIC Charged with Using Mobile Phone While Driving

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Neil j, 8 March 2015.

  1. Neil j

    Neil j Member

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    Tldr: read last paragraph

    I was driving down a main road and ended up stopping at a set of lights a police response vehicle ended up doing a U-turn and following me down the road they stopped at sort of the end of my car I had a dash cam in my hands looking at a video of a guy doing a burnout I had recorded 5 minutes earlier, I immediately turned around to see who and why the vehicle was sitting back because I had been pulled over 5 times in the previous week and noticed it was one of the police response vehicles I had already put the dash cam away, once the lights turned green I pulled over into a service lane before they had even put their lights on, the officer's questioned me on what I was using and I explained it was my headunit changing colours, which it does. to which they asked does the face provide light when removed from the actual unit to which I replied no, they questioned me about using a mobile phone and eventually wrote up a fine for using a mobile phone along with defecting me because my handbrake clicked too many times because they said I was lieing about not using a mobile phone,

    My phone at the time was at home at the time and in their description ( as I have taken the matter to court)
    "The police traveling in the right lane have pulled up beside the accused in his blind spot. officer's having a clear unobstructed view into the vehicle have observered the accused to be holding a mobile phone in his left hand horizontally in front of his face"
    Which is a false statement due to the fact my headrest is quite large and the phone was on the left side of me which would block the line of sight, I have tested this myself with a friend to ensure I was correct.

    His statement of the events is also horrifically incorrect, with him detailing that he spoke 5 times and I replied 5 times, which is far from true as he questioned me quite extensively on the subject and if there was anything else in the car that could look like a mobile phone, I wasn't certain and I am not certain that if using a dash cam while stopped at the lights for 30 or so seconds is an offence.

    So im wondering if using a dash cam to view a video is an offence, which offence it is, if because Ive been charged with using a mobile phone instead of a dash cam I can still be charged.
    If I can ask for leniency due to police harassment as I was pulled over 6 times in a week and didn't wish to fully co-operate with the officer along with the fact he defected me for a trivial matter when I didn't agree with him that he saw a mobile phone.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Neil,

    In relation to the mobile phone vs. dash cam, you're best to contact Legal Aid or your local community legal centre (Fitzroy Legal Centre has free drop-in sessions).

    As for the "police harassment". While you may perceive it has harassment, I'm afraid police, courts and the law will not view it that way. It is an inconvenience being pulled up by the police 6 times in one week, however, this will not count as "police harassment", not in the legal sense that will mitigate your situation. Additionally, it will not look good for your case or credibility to draw attention to how many times you have had run-ins with the law in the past week.
     
  3. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    In answer to your other questions:
    • Road offences in Victoria are governed by the Road Safety Road Rules 2009 (Vic)
    • Using a mobile phone on roads is governed by section 300(1) - basically, it is an offence to use a mobile phone as a driver where the car is stationary but not parked
    • A "mobile phone" is defined in very broad terms to include electronic devices other than radios (s 300).
     
  4. Neil j

    Neil j Member

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    ok thanks, I was pulled up on Friday and after my car was searched, twice. The officer said 'Im going to make sure every copper who see's you pulls you up" My intention was to agitate him as I refused a search and was not happy about the situation, but that is not professional at all and the way I see it, its harassment. But that's another issue I intend to bring up with the ethical standards organisation
     
  5. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Neil,

    In relation to the police's actions, you could lodge complaint about this: see "Victoria Legal Aid: Complaints about the police".

    However, you need to note that this complaint will be known by the police officer involved (as well as their police station) and may only antagonise them even more. Your immediate concern is the fine. Will settling a score with the police and obtaining the best outcome from pursuing a harassment claim against the police (if you do) get you off the fine? Might it lead to the police seeking a further sentence and being more uncooperative?

    Will this hinder or benefit your immediate case?
     

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