HERE’S a story that’ll bring your general sense of optimism for the world down a notch or two.
It’s been reported overnight that Canadian police picked up a driver who thought it was perfectly reasonable to attach not just one screen, but two, to his steering wheel.
Both a tablet and smartphone were attached to the wheel using string. If you can’t see what is wrong with this, do us all a favour and pop your licence through the shredder please.
The kicker? Technically our Canadian mate’s setup isn’t illegal under local laws. While the tech genius was fined by police, it was for not having his driver’s licence on him, not the clear and present beacons of distraction he’d affixed to his wheel.
Thankfully, if this was Australia, the offender would be facing a couple hundred dollar fine and several points lopped from his licence depending on where he was nabbed.
In most Australian states it’s legal to use some of a phone’s function while driving, but only if it is “secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle”. Some string isn’t going to cut it.
But it seems Australian aren’t getting the message either and local authorities admitted to Wheels earlier this year they are losing the battle against smartphone use in cars too.
We rank fourth in the world for smartphone ownership, and studies have shown Aussie drivers just can’t resist the urge to use phones while driving.
While the rate of tickets issued for smartphone use while driving has fallen in Victoria, the state’s top cop Doug Fryer puts this down to police tactics not being able to keep up with offending methods.
But more importantly, don’t be like our Canadian friend. Put all your devices away when at the wheel, and don’t be an idiot. This story’s ending could have been very different.