Man Charged For Not Having Hands-Free Device Fitted While Riding Horse
Most drivers in Australia will know that you need to have a hands-free bracket in your car in order to legally operate your phone.
The law changes in each state and territory but most places will allow you to change a song, take a call or use a map service as long as your phone is in a bracket.
But what happens when you're riding a horse? Well, apparently it's the same rule.
A man in rural New South Wales was riding a horse and allegedly using his mobile phone at the same time.
According to the Tenterfield Star, the horse was travelling around 10km/h when the cops claim the man had a phone to his ear.
You might think that a horse travelling that slowly wouldn't pose much of a hazard to other road users, however the law doesn't see it that way.
Magistrate David Day said: "Under the road rules a horse is a vehicle... and he didn't have a hands-free device fitted to the horse."
How one would attach a hands-free device to a horse that wouldn't be grossly uncomfortable for the animal and still practical for the 'driver' is anyone's guess, but the law's the law.
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While the lawyer for the 30-year-old claimed the matter was 'trivial', Magistrate Day was firm in his belief that the rules had been broken. As a result, the defendant pleaded guilty to using a mobile phone while riding a horse 'because he concedes that the horse was in motion'.
The NSW legislation, Road Rules 2014, Road Users and Vehicles states: "For the purposes of this rule, a mobile phone is secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle only if the mobile phone is secured in the mounting, and the mounting is affixed to the vehicle, in the manner intended by the manufacturer."
So it looks like someone is going to have to manufacture a horse-specific hands-free device.
If you thought that was a weird use of the law, then check out the Tasmanian bloke who was charged with being criminally annoying.
Brady Leigh Macpherson was arrested by police over claims he verbally assaulted a woman in Hobart's CBD.
The 25-year-old is accused of repeatedly calling the woman a 'f***head' on on Elizabeth St. While it might sound like a bizarre way to end up in court and in front of a magistrate, it's definitely against the rules in Tassie.
The Police Offences Act 1935 contains a stipulation that forbids people from jostling, insulting, or annoying another person. So you could probably suggest that yelling at a random person on the street would make you eligible to be charged under such an offence.
According to 7News, the magistrate presiding over the case 'hadn't heard' of the charge before when Macpherson fronted court.
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