"I can't see a phone": Disputed fine over mobile camera photo
A Sydney mother is furious her perfect driving record could be ruined by a fine for using her mobile phone while driving despite her claiming she was scratching her face.
Steff Doney, 37, spoke to A Current Affair about the matter.
"I've been on the road for 20 years and I've never lost a point and now it's going to take me 10 years to get that clean record back so I'm pretty disappointed," Ms Doney told A Current Affair.
She was photographed driving with one hand in Sydney's north last year and was fined $349 as well as losing five demerit points.
"My phone's large so if I actually had it on my ear you can see that the phone would be coming way past my hand," Ms Doney said.
She fought the penalty notice and gave authorities a photo comparison as well as a call log, but Revenue NSW has said that the image has been reviewed.
Revenue New South Wales responded saying, "the images have been reviewed and clearly show the driver holding a mobile phone to their right ear".
"Leniency is not appropriate for this offence as it is considered serious ... hence we are unable to consider your overall driving history when reviewing this type of offence."
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) March 30, 2021
Barrister Sean Hardy was interviewed by A Current Affair and he said he was "astonished" that they fined Doney.
"I'm astonished they would say she's clearly holding a phone, because I can't see a phone in that photo," he said.
"There's a little bit of a black void which could be mistaken for a black phone but that's not good enough, you can't just make the mistake and assume guilt," he continued.
"I imagine the magistrate's going to find reasonable doubt ... but we'll wait and see.
"It's David vs Goliath and I think the government really needs to take a step back and give people a break if they're not sure, absolutely sure."
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