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"Hero" teens steer bus to safety after driver has a heart attack

<p>Two teenagers have worked together to steer a school bus to safety after the driver had a heart attack. </p> <p>The pair were among 20 other students from Aquinas College, who were on board the bus yesterday afternoon when the 70-year-old driver had the medical episode. </p> <p>A 15-year-old girl, not yet old enough to drive, and Daniel Knight, a year 12 student sprung to action to stop the bus. </p> <p>"We were only going like five [kilometres an hour], 10 k's, so I was like I better just stop the bus before it gets any worse," Knight said. </p> <p>"She opened the door up, she was calming everyone down."</p> <p>Bennet Rogers, a student on the bus  recalled the moment the incident happened. </p> <p>"Us students on the bus, we didn't know what was happening and everyone was screaming," Rogers said. </p> <p>"She had to steer the bus so we didn't crash into a building," he added. </p> <p>Knight and the 15-year-old girl's actions have been commended by the school in a letter to their parents. </p> <p>The bus driver remains in hospital and is recovering from surgery, and the principal has said that there would be an investigation into what happened. </p> <p>Many are calling for the teen girl to be recognised with a bravery award, with Queensland Premier Steven Miles telling <em>Nine News</em> he would personally nominate her. </p> <p>"She's a hero for that, definitely," another fellow student, Brodie Wilkinson, said.</p> <p>"I really hope she gets an award or something."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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Just 15 centimetres of water can float a car – but we are failing to educate drivers about the dangers of floodwaters

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828"><em>Griffith University</em></a></em></p> <p>Every year in Australia, people driving into floodwaters drown and many more are <a href="https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/disaster-tabs-header/flood/">rescued</a>. Do <em>you</em> know what to do when there’s water on the road?</p> <p>We searched all state and territory learner and driver handbooks for information about floodwaters, including signage. Our findings, published in the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437524000860?via%3Dihub">Journal of Safety Research</a>, are disturbing.</p> <p>Across half of Australia’s states and territories, the driver handbook ignores flooding. That’s a missed opportunity, considering the handbook contains road rules and provides advice on how to navigate safely. While some states fail to provide any flood-related information, others give detailed practical guidance. Only the New South Wales handbook includes explanation of the meaning and purpose of flood signage.</p> <p>This is despite almost all states and territories experiencing vehicle-related flood <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jfr3.12616">deaths</a>, including <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">drowning</a>, between 2001 and 2017. It’s a major problem that is only going to get worse as the climate changes. So our research shows driver education needs to come up to speed, fast.</p> <h2>Why do people drive into floodwaters?</h2> <p>Our previous <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212420918301869">research</a> revealed motorists can feel compelled to drive into floodwaters for a range of reasons. These include time pressures such as being late for work or school, or needing to get home to family or pets. Sometimes they feel pressured by their passengers, or motorists behind them on the road, urging them to cross.</p> <p>People also report having been encouraged or instructed as learners to drive into floodwaters. Past experience as a passenger also influences a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369847823000475">learner driver’s</a> future willingness to drive into floodwaters.</p> <p>So the views of significant others, such as their supervising driver, strongly influence decisions around driving into floodwaters.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZtlXpDBjU1Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Avoid driving into floodwaters, for life’s sake.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What we did and what we found</h2> <p>We assessed all publicly available, government-issued learner and driver handbooks (12 documents) across all six Australian states and two territories. We also looked for flood-related signage. We used a method for reviewing online material through a systematic search including in-document key words and imagery.</p> <p>Four jurisdictions provided no information on flooding in the handbook. In the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, drivers need to look elsewhere for information on floodwaters and driving safety.</p> <p>Only one jurisdiction provided information on flood signage such as depth markers and “road subject to flooding”. Hats off to the <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-11/Road-User-Handbook-English.pdf">NSW Road User Handbook</a>, which warns:</p> <blockquote> <p>Floodwater is extremely dangerous. Find another way or wait until the road is clear. It’s safer to turn around than to drive in floodwater.</p> </blockquote> <p>For the states and territories that did provide information on floodwaters in the handbook, the content varied.</p> <p>NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory warned against entering floodwaters in a vehicle. They highlighted the dangers and financial penalties associated with driving on closed roads.</p> <p>In the NT and Western Australia, handbooks provided practical information on when and how to cross floodwaters safely, such as how to gauge safe water depth based on vehicle size, and to avoid fast-flowing water.</p> <p>Although well-intentioned, judgements around what constitutes fast-flowing water are subjective and hard for any driver to assess, let alone learner drivers. Even drivers of larger vehicles such as four-wheel drives are regularly involved in flood-related <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">vehicle drowning fatalities</a>.</p> <p>Just <a href="https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/news-and-media/campaigns/15-to-float">45cm</a> of water can float a large 4WD, and considerably less for smaller vehicles.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t4ilUbMXZAQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">A small car can float in just 15cm of water.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Handbooks represent valuable sources of safety information, particularly for new drivers who must learn important road rules to progress from one licence to another. Such graduated driver licensing schemes reduce road traffic injury, particularly among <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437523000385">young people</a>.</p> <p>However, many of these handbooks fail to provide consistent, practical evidence-based information about flooding. There is an opportunity here to support safer driving behaviours.</p> <h2>Safety tips for all drivers</h2> <p>We encourage drivers to follow these safety tips:</p> <ul> <li>avoid driving into floodwaters</li> <li>identify alternative routes, so you have a <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-roads-become-rivers-forming-a-plan-b-can-stop-people-driving-into-floodwaters-183036">plan B</a></li> <li>familiarise yourself, and any learner drivers in the household or under your care, with the meaning and purpose of flood signage</li> <li>understand the legal consequences of crossing a road closed sign</li> <li>discuss the dangers of driving into floodwaters with learner drivers and help them formulate their own plan B</li> <li>model safe driving for all passengers, including children.</li> </ul> <h2>Time to lift our game</h2> <p>Driving into floodwaters remains the main cause of <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">flood-related drowning</a> in Australia.</p> <p>For our emergency service personnel, driver behaviour, including people ignoring road closed signs, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hpja.181">significantly complicates</a> the already dangerous act of performing a flood rescue.</p> <p>Extreme weather and flooding are likely to become more frequent and intense in the future. That means the chance of being faced with a flooded road is growing. So information about driving during floods is vital for all, from the newly licensed to the experienced driver.</p> <p>We hope our research will encourage all states and territories to include provide practical, evidence-based advice on floods in driver handbooks as soon as possible.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233116/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, NHMRC Research Fellow, School of Population Health &amp; co-founder UNSW Beach Safety Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, Associate Professor in Applied Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/just-15-centimetres-of-water-can-float-a-car-but-we-are-failing-to-educate-drivers-about-the-dangers-of-floodwaters-233116">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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EV driver slammed for worst piece of parking you'll ever see

<p>An Australian electric vehicle driver in Tasmania has been slammed online for their "unbelievable" parking. </p> <p>In a picture shared on Facebook, the BYD was seen parked horizontally across two separate charging spaces in Howrah, Hobart. </p> <p>Not only did they hog two charging spots, but their vehicle also parked over two nearby motorbike bays. </p> <p>"Congratulations to this person yesterday who managed to connect to the charger on the right, while parking sideways across the charging bay on the left, AND a couple of bonus motorbike parking bays," a frustrated driver wrote online, after witnessing the scene. </p> <p>This prompted an outpouring of frustration from both EV drivers and Australians who dislike the  "electric vehicle community in general".</p> <p>"They should put cameras on the charger and if they park like this it starts to drain the battery instead of charging it," one wrote. </p> <p>"Give me a crack at parking, I'd do better — even with my cane," another commented. </p> <p>"I officially give up trying to defend the EV community," a third added. </p> <p>"I honestly have no words," wrote a fourth.</p> <p>EV etiquette has been a popular topic of debate recently, with drivers frequently being photographed for their questionable parking skills. </p> <p>Just a few months ago, a Tesla driver was mocked for their <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/entitled-as-tesla-driver-mocked-for-creative-parking" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"entitled as"</a> parking, after taking up two spots in a shopping centre to park their vehicle. </p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

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Elderly driver hailed a hero amid fatal bus tragedy

<p>An elderly driver has been hailed a hero for saving lives after getting caught up in a horror crash between a Greyhound bus and a car towing a caravan.</p> <p>The accident left three women dead and 27 other passengers injured, after the coach allegedly veered onto the opposite side of the  Bruce Highway at Gumlu, in north Queensland at around 11am on Sunday. </p> <p>The coach was travelling between Brisbane and Townsville, with 33 people onboard when it collided with a caravan towed by a 4WD. </p> <p>The elderly couple, who were in the 4WD were miraculously not injured. </p> <p>Witnesses have praised the elderly male driver for his quick-thinking skills, when he drove his vehicle out of the way of the oncoming bus - which saved the lives of people driving behind him. </p> <p>"He was a hero for his actions,"  Janice Beavis told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p> <p>“They [the elderly couple] were behaving safely. The bus hit the van, the driver [of the 4WD] was trying to get away.</p> <p>“He saved himself and his wife and the mum and three girls travelling behind him.”</p> <p>56-year-old Townsville woman, Emma ‘Alli’ Sailor, and two German women aged in their 20s and 30s sadly passed away in the crash. </p> <p>Four people remain in hospital, including two men in their 20s who are fighting for their lives, and two other men, aged 27 and 51, who are in stable conditions. </p> <p>The bus was reportedly running behind schedule, leaving Rockhampton at 2am instead of the planned departure time at 12:45. </p> <p>The speed limit at the section of the highway where the accident occurred was 100km/h.</p> <p>Detectives are investigating whether fatigue could have played a role in the crash. </p> <p>“We haven’t determined any factors that have contributed to the crash at this stage, but certainly a crash of this nature, involving this many people, is a very significant, very tragic incident for us,” Police Superintendent Graeme Paine said at a press conference on Sunday.</p> <p>Anyone who may have seen the crash or have dashcam footage have been urged to contact police. </p> <p>On Monday morning, Police Superintendent Paine said that more witnesses will be interviewed to determine the cause of the crash. </p> <p>“We’ve collected a significant amount of evidence from the scene,” he said.</p> <p>“As we process that evidence and interview further witnesses, we anticipate getting a clearer picture of exactly how it occurred." </p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au</em></p>

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Uber driver makes pensioner fork out thousands after minor accident

<p>In a distressing incident, 80-year-old pensioner Judy Libby has claimed that she was coerced into handing over $2,500 to an Uber driver following a minor car accident in Melbourne's CBD.</p> <p>Judy recounted her ordeal on Melbourne's 3AW Radio on Friday morning, describing the alarming sequence of events that unfolded after she accidentally hit the back of the Uber driver's car.</p> <p><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/motoring/motoring-news/an-absolute-nightmare-uber-drivers-sickening-act-to-80yo-pensioner/news-story/f77aa3e46c41532268a712cfc4764877" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to News.com.au</a>, Judy explained that the driver was stationary when the accident occurred, causing a dent in the boot of his vehicle. The driver, claiming the damage had rendered him unable to work and support his family, demanded compensation. "He said, 'I’m an Uber driver, you’ve ruined the back of my car. I’ve got a wife and child to support; now I can’t work,'" Judy told the radio station.</p> <p>Initially, the driver demanded $4,000, allegedly stating he had obtained a quote from a friend who was a panel beater. When Judy expressed her inability to pay such a sum, the driver proposed a reduced amount of $2,500. They arranged to meet at her local bank, but when the teller grew suspicious and refused the transaction, the Uber driver reportedly drove her to another bank where she was made to withdraw the money.</p> <p>Judy described the driver's demeanour as very angry and the experience as a "nightmare". The situation took a further turn for the worse when she later received a legal letter demanding an additional $8,800 for the damage, with no mention of the $2,500 she had already handed over.</p> <p>Concerned and distressed, Judy informed her daughter, who then reported the incident to the police. The case is now being investigated by the fraud squad. "I wasn’t travelling at a speed to do huge damage. I had no damage on my car, just a few scratches," Judy said. "And he had an older car too, so $8,800; no. I didn’t write it off, I just hit his boot."</p> <p>3AW host Russel Howcroft condemned the incident as "disgraceful", particularly criticising the driver's actions of taking Judy to a bank against her will. "Fancy putting someone in their car and driving them to a bank branch," he remarked.</p> <p>The investigation by the fraud squad will hopefully bring clarity and justice to Judy Libby's troubling experience.</p> <p><em>Image: Lutsenko Oleksandr / Shutterstock</em></p>

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What the fox! Driver finds wild animal trapped in his car

<p>A motorist has shared the startling moment a fox got trapped in the front grill of his car, after he accidentally hit the wild animal while travelling at 80km/h. </p> <p>While driving down a country road in South Australia on Saturday night, the man behind the wheel said he was shocked when he felt something slam into the car. </p> <p>When he later checked the vehicle, he was astonished to find the angry fox trying to break free from behind the front grill of the car. </p> <p>“Y’all thought you had a bad day,” he can be heard saying while filming the animal furiously biting the front grill in an attempt to escape.</p> <p>In a series of videos posted to TikTok, the man documented the fox's attempts at escape, before informing his followers that he had enlisted the help of a local vet to help free the animal. </p> <p>“Took him to the vet, they sedated him and we got him out safely, the poor guy,” he said, adding he was glad — and impressed — the fox was alive after such a high-speed impact.</p> <p>Throughout his videos, many took to the comments to offer their advice to free the fox, as one person suggested "popping the lid", with the driver explaining that he did but “couldn’t even see him through the bonnet”.</p> <p>The saga has been viewed more than 400,000 times in the past 24 hours, with numerous people saying they were stunned the fox wasn’t seriously injured. “How does this even happen?” one person wondered.</p> <p>“What in the fox is going on here!” another joked, while others pondered how the man would explain the incident to his insurance company.</p> <p>“Insurance would never believe you if you didn’t have that video,” someone else added.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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“Entitled as”: Tesla driver mocked for creative parking

<p>A Tesla driver's parking skills has sparked an online debate after pictures of the vehicle parked across two parking spots was posted on Facebook. </p> <p>The black Tesla Model Y was parked at the Orion Springfield shopping centre in Queensland, and most online commenters condemned the driver's actions. </p> <p>“Of course, it’s a Tesla owner. Entitled as mentality,” one wrote. </p> <p>“They should find somewhere else to charge it or go home," another commented. </p> <p>However, some commenters pointed out that the charging station could be the problem, and with an increase in drivers choosing electric vehicles, it sparked a few questions on the accessibility of the charging stations across the country. </p> <p>“Maybe that was the only way to reach the plug? EV owners should be allowed to fuel up just as we do," one commenter wrote. </p> <p>“The one at fault … is the silver car parked in the charging spot not on charge, so I guess they [the Tesla owner] had to park like that to charge up," another said. </p> <p>In another incident last April,  another Tesla driver was criticised for parking their Model 3 – with an attached trailer – over the kerb next to the charging bay. </p> <p>However, the photo also highlighted the accessibility issues as current charging stations for EV's do not accomodate to oversized vehicles, so drivers may have to come up with other ways to charge. </p> <p>A spokesperson for Standards Australia said that a charger reform is currently being discussed by all relevant regulators. </p> <p>"There's a lot of work going on right now as our vehicle fleet becomes more electric. This includes consideration of charging infrastructure, its placement, and matters of safety and amenity," the spokesperson told<em> Drive</em>. </p> <p>"Standards Australia is working with governments, industry and the community to identify what standards are needed for charging infrastructure and how they can be embedded in our communities."</p> <p><em>Image: Drive/ Facebook</em></p>

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Dodgy tactic to keep driver's licence growing "out of control"

<p>A criminal lawyer has exposed an alarming trend, which has caused more and more people to seek legal advice. </p> <p>Over the past year, there has been an increase in the number of drivers off-loading their demerit points to strangers in exchange for cash, as Aussies desperately try to keep their licences. </p> <p>The illegal tactic is often advertised on social media, where users attract those looking for someone to falsely nominate and palm off their demerit points to. </p> <p>The price of one demerit point can go for $30-$150, and criminal lawyer Jahan Kalantar revealed that more people are seeking legal advice after getting involved in the trend. </p> <p>"This used to be a very tiny part of my practice, I do about eight to nine consultations a week on this," he told <em>7News Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>"This is becoming really out of control."</p> <p><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/dodgy-drivers-licence-tactic-used-by-millions-growing-out-of-control-044254123.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo Australia</em> </a>shared a screenshot of a chat obtained from Facebook, which showed a person responding to an ad someone put up about selling their demerit points. </p> <p>"What fine is it?" the person advertising asked. </p> <p>"Speeding," the person replied. </p> <p>"Yeah I can sort it out for you," they said. </p> <p>When asked how it would work the advertiser replied: "If it's under 5 points it's $80 a point". </p> <p>There are tough penalties for those who choose to falsely nominate another driver, and for those who trade their demerit points for cash. </p> <p>In Victoria, offenders face fines of $9,000, while those in NSW and Queensland cop a maximum penalty of $11,000. </p> <p>In addition to hefty fines, imprisonment is also a risk, with one high-profile incident in 2006 landing former federal court judge Marcus Einfeld in prison after he was caught falsely declaring another driver for his speeding fine. </p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS/ Facebook</em></p>

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Charges dropped for Hunter Valley bus driver

<p>The driver responsible for the Hunter Valley bus crash that claimed the lives of 10 people has had major charges dropped as he faced court. </p> <p>Brett Andrew Button, 59, faced Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday, as all 10 manslaughter charges were dropped as part of a deal struck with prosecutors. </p> <p>As part of the deal, Button pled guilty to a string of other charges, including 10 counts of dangerous driving causing death, nine counts of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and 16 counts of furious driving causing bodily harm.</p> <p>Another 25 charges of causing bodily harm by misconduct were also withdrawn.</p> <p>He was not yet required to enter pleas to back-up charges including negligent driving causing death.</p> <p>Since his first arrest, Button had been on bail after initially being granted release due to mental health and wellbeing concerns should he be kept in custody.</p> <p>However, he has now been remanded into custody on remand to await sentencing.</p> <p>The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) declined to comment on the reason for the manslaughter charges being withdrawn.</p> <p>Mr Button was arrested after allegedly losing control of a bus that was transporting 35 wedding guests to a reception in the NSW Hunter Valley. </p> <p>The bus rolled over at a roundabout near Greta, killing 10 people and injuring 25 others. </p> <p>Mother and daughter Nadene and Kyah McBride, Kyah’s boyfriend Kane Symons, husband and wife Andrew and Lynan Scott, Zach Bray, Angus Craig, Darcy Bulman, Tori Cowburn and Rebecca Mullen all died in the impact.</p> <p>Button has previously apologised for the incident, telling reporters outside court in March he was “devastated by what has occurred” and that he was “truly and deeply sorry”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Advocates slam "ageist" call for older drivers to undergo mandatory testing

<p>A fresh push to make older drivers undergo mandatory health checks every year has been labelled ageist by advocates. </p> <p>General Practitioners have reignited the debate to introduce annual assessments for drivers in Victoria aged 75 and over, to bring the state in line with standards in other states including NSW, Queensland, WA and the Australian Capital Territory. </p> <p>“This is not about discriminating against older people, but a recognition that the skills that are required to drive safely can be lost as we get older,” the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Victoria chair Dr Anita Muñoz told <em>The Age</em>. </p> <p>"We do feel that having an annual assessment done for elderly drivers is a good thing," the college's Victoria co-deputy chair Dr Bindiya Sethi added. </p> <p>Victoria Police data obtained by <em>The Age</em> also showed that 145 people have died and 7080 have been injured in road incidents caused by people aged over 65. </p> <p>20 per cent of licence holders in Victoria are over 65, which has gone up from 16 per cent a decade ago. </p> <p>In the last financial year, there were 247 deaths and 16,265 injuries caused by crashes on Victorian roads, with drivers aged 65 and over responsible for around 10 per cent of these incidences. </p> <p>However, Chris Potaris, chief executive of the Council on the Ageing Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria, has called the move "ageist". </p> <p>“We continue to support Victoria’s approach, which emphasises a driver’s behaviour and medical fitness to operate a motor vehicle,” he told the publication. </p> <p>“Driving should be based on ability, not on age.”</p> <p>Seniors Rights Victoria policy and advocacy manager Ben Rogers has also slammed the move. </p> <p>"We find it ageist and arbitrary ... It's targeting people that don't need to be targeted," Rogers said. </p> <p>MP Steve Dimopolous added that there was no evidence that an aged-based assessment model was any better than the existing rules. </p> <p>VicRoads also claimed that there is a lot of misinformation about older drivers, who are "usually more cautious, more experienced and more responsible" than younger drivers.</p> <p> </p> <p>"They are more likely to obey the law and are less likely to drink drive or speed," VicRoads said.</p> <p>However, a few others believe that mandatory assessments are a good move. </p> <p>"I think it's fair enough. Over a certain age, maybe 70 or so," local man Pat said.</p> <p>"I think the younger drivers are worse than the older drivers," another added. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Police share wild seatbelt pic after fining driver for bizarre DIY fix

<p>A driver has copped a $387 fine over their bizarre seatbelt fix during a random stationary test at Richmond in Sydney's northwest. </p> <p>A photo shared by NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol showed the shocking state of the driver's seatbelt, which was tattered and held together by duct tape. </p> <p>The police department have warned other drivers to make sure their seatbelts are in good condition, otherwise they too might cop a fine and demerit points.</p> <p>"Seatbelts help to save lives, except for this one...."  they wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Hawkesbury Highway Patrol were recently conducting random stationary testing on Londonderry Road at Richmond when they spoke with a driver about his seatbelt.</p> <p> "Not only was the seatbelt not being worn, an inspection of the seatbelt found it to be dangerously defective," they added. </p> <p>"He was issued a defect notice and infringement in the amount of $387 and three demerit points. Please ensure your seatbelts don't look like this."</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/SeatbeltNSWPolice.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Many commenters were baffled as to how the vehicle passed the eSafety check, also known as a pink slip inspection, which is required for vehicles over five years old in NSW to be deemed roadworthy. </p> <p>"And who passed the Pink Slip? That’s where I’d be heading,"  one wrote. </p> <p>"I wonder who did the rego check on this vehicle," another added. </p> <p>"How does it even get to that stage," a third questioned, while others agreed that the seatbelt was no longer safe. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, NSW Police Force</em></p>

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Hunter Valley bus driver breaks silence

<p>Brett Andrew Button, 59, who allegedly caused a fatal bus crash that <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/hunter-valley-bus-driver-hit-with-new-charges" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed 10 people</a> and injured 25 others has broken his silence over the incident for the first time.</p> <p>Button appeared before Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday as he faces almost 90 charges associated with the horror crash. </p> <p>In a statement read by his lawyer, Chris O’Brien, Button said that there was “not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened that night”.</p> <p>“There isn’t an hour that goes by that I’m not thinking of the families that have been affected by the crash.</p> <p>“I truly feel for anyone involved, including the emergency services.</p> <p>“I am devastated by what has occurred and I am truly deeply sorry.”</p> <p>Button was the bus driver in charge of driving wedding guests to a Hunter Valley venue when the vehicle allegedly lost control and crashed.</p> <p>Husband and wife Andrew and Lynan Scott were killed in the crash and farewelled in ceremonies weeks later. </p> <p>Nadene and Kyah McBride who were among the ten wedding guests killed in the crash, were also <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/a-moving-time-hunter-valley-bus-crash-victims-honoured-at-aflw-grand-final" target="_blank" rel="noopener">honoured with a tribute</a> at the AFLW grand final in December. </p> <p>Zach Bray, Angus Craig, Darcy Bulman, Tori Cowburn and Rebecca Mullen were the other victims of the horror crash. </p> <p>Button faces 89 charges including nine counts of negligent driving occasioning death and 16 counts of driving a motor vehicle furiously doing or causing harm.</p> <p>He has not entered any pleas. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Driver fined over "six-second stop"

<p>A driver has been fined $387 for making "six-second stop" at what he thought was a 15-minute parking zone, and now he is fuming as he believes he is a victim of a cash grab.</p> <p>Sydney resident Michael was dropping off his partner in a quiet street on Darling Harbour and was shocked to receive a hefty fine and two demerit points for his quick drop-off. </p> <p>Revenue NSW reportedly told him that he had stopped within 10 metres after a crossing, which was a "serious" safety risk. </p> <p>Michael said that he was unaware he needed to pull in and believed he was allowed to stop where he did, as he was adjacent to the parking bay. </p> <p>"It's a flawed set up with the crossing being so close to the 15-minute parking," Michael told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>.</p> <p>"If I was a metre over in the vacant bay I would have avoided the fine. But the signage is just not clear.. and that bay itself is within 10 metres of the crossing, so how does that work?"</p> <p>The photos supplied by Revenue NSW, all time-stamped 8:23am, showed Michael's vehicle in different positions of the Zollner Circuit, which he has argued is not sufficient evidence to prove that he stopped.</p> <p>The photos also showed no visible pedestrians, other than Michael's partner who had just gotten out of the car, and Michael argued that he was allowed to stop since there was the 15-minute parking sign. </p> <p>While Darling Harbour is located in the City of Sydney LGA, the area is managed by government-run Place Management NSW.</p> <p>"It is an offence to stop on or near a pedestrian crossing," a spokesperson stressed. </p> <p>Michael questioned why there was no leniency, with such a large fine particularly amid a cost-of-living crisis, but it is reportedly because those who clearly breach road laws would not be granted any. </p> <p>"There's no one around and I was there for six seconds... it just feels like someone was having a bad day and waiting to make a name for themselves," Michael argued.</p> <p><em>Images: Yahoo News Australia. </em></p>

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"It's just not fair": Driver slams council for misleading parking fine

<p>A furious motorist has taken aim at a Sydney council's parking solution that resulted in an "outrageous" and "unjustified" fine. </p> <p>Ben drives to the Campbelltown train station in South West Sydney every day for his workday commute, and has recently been forced to find alternative parking plans due to a major disruption. </p> <p>A multi-deck carpark is being built near the station to accommodate the influx of traffic, but while the site is under construction, a makeshift parking lot has been set up. </p> <p>While the new car park will add 500 parking bays when completed, residents have claimed the council has drastically reduced the number of spaces in the meantime.</p> <p>Ben told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-parking-rules-drivers-outrage-over-tiny-detail-in-parking-fine/4cfe4d45-c311-4587-b68a-fc1d017675fc" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9news.com.au</a></em> parking had become "a nightmare" since the temporary lot opened, leaving many motorists with no option but to park along the fence line. </p> <p>It's this act that saw Ben receive a $129 parking fine in the mail. </p> <p>He was outraged when he was issued a fine on February 9th for "not stand vehicle in a marked parking space" when he had no other parking option. </p> <p>"They've advertised that the temporary car park is the same amount of spaces lost during the construction, which is severely incorrect," he said.</p> <p>"I can only assume they are fining loads of drivers as that space along the fence line is always full of cars parked the same as mine was."</p> <p>Along with the fine itself, ticket inspectors supplied Ben a photo of a wordy and confusing sign located near the entrance to the lot, which only added to his frustration with the local council.</p> <p>He said while there were no marked bays along the fence line, signage was not clear enough to indicate to drivers they weren't allowed to park there.</p> <p>"I mean it's just not fair. It's a temporary gravel parking lot," he said.</p> <p>"They've created this mess and now they are targeting innocent commuters fighting to just leave their car somewhere to catch public transport into work."</p> <p>A spokesperson for Campbelltown City Council told <em>Nine News</em> they understood the construction of the new car park would "create some disruption".</p> <p>"A temporary 113-space parking lot has been opened adjacent to the existing parking lot in order to offset some of the parking loss," they said.</p> <p>The council was "actively monitoring and reviewing the current parking and signage arrangements as well as community feedback, to identify any further improvements that could be made and inform any additional community notification required".</p> <p>"While this review takes place, vehicles will only be fined where a safety risk to both other vehicles and/or pedestrians is identified," the spokesperson said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News</em></p>

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Hunter Valley bus driver hit with new charges

<p dir="ltr">The bus driver involved in the fatal crash that killed 10 people on the way to a wedding reception has been hit with new charges over the tragedy. </p> <p dir="ltr">In June 2023, Brett Andrew Button was driving the bus to a Hunter Valley venue when the vehicle allegedly lost control and crashed, killing 10 people onboard.</p> <p dir="ltr"> The 59-year-old was initially charged last year, with his charges including 10 counts of dangerous driving occasioning death - driving in a dangerous manner and negligent driving occasioning death.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday morning, he was hit with 26 new offences, including 10 charges of manslaughter for each of the victims who died in the accident.</p> <p dir="ltr">The charges represent a significant upgrade in terms of legal severity, with Button facing a maximum of 25 years in prison for each manslaughter charge.</p> <p dir="ltr">He is also facing 16 counts of furious driving causing bodily harm, which relate to the manner in which Button was allegedly driving in the moments leading to the crash.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Button will now be facing a total of 89 charges over the incident when he returns to court on Wednesday, and is currently out on bail. </p> <p dir="ltr">In August last year, the court was told that it was clear Mr Button was “suffering” amid concerns about his mental health and wellbeing in custody.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Button has yet to enter pleas for the existing charges.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bus driver was taking wedding guests towards Singleton for the wedding reception of Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell, when he allegedly told bus passengers to “fasten your seatbelts” moments before losing control of the vehicle. </p> <p dir="ltr">Local husband and wife Andrew and Lynan Scott, Zachary Bray, Angus Craig, Darcy Bulman, Tori Cowburn, Rebecca Mullen, Kane Symons, and mother-and daughter Naden and Kyah McBride were all killed in the crash.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

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Disabled woman slams bus driver who refused to let her onboard

<p>A disabled woman has taken aim at a bus driver who refused to let her onboard a busy bus. </p> <p>The 23-year-old, who relies on a mobility scooter, sparked an online debate after recalling how a driver wouldn't let her on the Melbourne bus, as the vehicle was filled to capacity. </p> <p>“I’m so sorry,” the driver told Anastasiia Berezikova as she tried to board the bus. </p> <p>“I can’t take you on at this stage. The next one shouldn’t be too long. The bus is full, I am only allowed to take 75 passengers. So I can’t kick them off and let you on, it would be unfair.”</p> <p>While filming the interaction, the woman asked the bus driver if he “understands there are priority seats” available for disabled people on public buses.</p> <p>“I understand, but there are other people who got on the bus before you, and I can’t kick them out,” he replied.</p> <p>Ms Berezikova claimed “able-bodied people” had been prioritised in this instance, as she addressed those on the bus and asked, “So none of the able-bodied people want to help a disabled person?”</p> <p>Posting the interaction to TikTok, Ms Berezikova was met with mixed responses from viewers, as some people sided with her, while others sided with the bus driver. </p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7303018244124708103&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40seanympha888%2Fvideo%2F7303018244124708103%3Fembed_source%3D121355059%252C121351166%252C121331973%252C120811592%252C120810756%253Bnull%253Bembed_name%26refer%3Dembed%26referer_url%3Dwww.news.com.au%252Ftechnology%252Fonline%252Fsocial%252Fdisabled-woman-slams-melbourne-bus-driver-who-would-not-let-her-on-full-bus%252Fnews-story%252F085b4e9e53cb14a0e4b7e7709dfe934e%26referer_video_id%3D7303018244124708103&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2Fo0GXECFv58gXEkdZDBDAIfsxjfKAiCNI2wEafE%3Fx-expires%3D1701388800%26x-signature%3Dp2HoaXXYfdsIXHvvNvZLRcSoSbc%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>“You’re prioritised a seat/space on the bus if there is a space on the bus, they can’t just kick someone off that’s on before you,” one user wrote.</p> <p>“On the bus you get priority seating, yes. But you don’t get priority to ride - if it’s full it’s full they can’t just kick people off,” a second commenter wrote.</p> <p>“I’m a wheelchair user also. In this situation he did nothing wrong. You’re assuming people are discriminating you when they’re not,” a third wrote.</p> <p>Others were adamant the people on the bus were in the wrong by not offering her a seat.</p> <p>“Bloody hell how rude & inconsiderate are people nowadays they only think about themselves. They should’ve moved & stood up from the priority seat,” one wrote.</p> <p>In follow-up videos posted to TikTok, Ms Berezikova claimed that other travellers had boarded the bus at her stop after pushing in front of her, and that she had pleaded with them to make space for her. </p> <p>She also chose to reveal her medical history, which included being in a 12-day coma in July 2021 due to cardiac arrests caused by Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) and subsequent motor skills, co-ordination, and speech issues.</p> <p>“I get it, it doesn’t matter to you that (myself) or others have special needs. What matters to you is that you get from point A to point B on time. I dont mind waiting for a second bus. Okay third. But fourth? Fifth?!” she wrote in the follow-up post.</p> <p>“And still face discrimination on the bus. If you think its okay to leave disabled people stranded that is NOT COOL ... I deserve to get on a bus like anyone else and infrastructure and society must allow that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok / Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Drivers missing out on thousands in unclaimed toll rebates

<p>Motorists in New South Wales could be sitting on hundred of dollars in unclaimed toll rebates and not even know it. </p> <p>After a scheme was introduced by NSW premier Dom Perrottet to help ease cost of living pressures,  drivers can get cash back for their road usage.</p> <p>The scheme entitles eligible drivers who spent more than $375 on tolls in the 2022-2023 financial year to a 40 per cent rebate of up to $750.</p> <p>Motorists have until June 30, 2024 to claim the rebate.</p> <p>This financial year, motorists who spend more than $402 on tolls can claim up to $802 back.</p> <p>In order to claim your rebate, you need to be a resident of New South Wales with an active NSW E-Toll or Transurban Linkt account and have already paid for the tolls.</p> <p>Drivers also must have accrued tolls on a vehicle that is privately registered in NSW and have travelled on an eligible NSW road.</p> <p>The toll roads included in the rebate are:</p> <ul> <li>M5 South-West (unless you already claim for the M5 South-West Cashback Scheme)</li> <li>Westlink M7</li> <li>Hills M2</li> <li>NorthConnex</li> <li>WestConnex</li> <li>Sydney Harbour Bridge</li> <li>Sydney Harbour Tunnel</li> <li>Lane Cove Tunnel</li> <li>Eastern Distributor</li> <li>Cross City Tunnel</li> <li>Military Rd E-Ramp (Falcon St off-ramp of the Warringah Fwy).</li> </ul> <p>To access the toll tracker service, you need to link your toll account with your MyService NSW profile before you check your eligibility via the <a href="https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/claim-the-toll-relief-rebate#eligibility" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Service NSW website</a>, select “claim online” and follow the prompts.</p> <p>Once approved, Service NSW says you will receive your rebate within three to eight business days.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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"What am I missing?" Driver confused over hefty parking fine

<p>A woman has been left shocked over a $300 parking fine, for an offence she had no idea she was committing. </p> <p>The confused motorist was puzzled when she received a $305 fine in the mail, and decided to take to Facebook to ask her community if they could "help [her] understand the fine".</p> <p>The woman, from Sydney's inner west, posted photos of her parking job to a local Facebook page, which show her blue hatchback parked curbside outside a house, with no apparent signal nearby. </p> <p>"I got fined $305 and lost some demerits points. They said I parked parallel close to the dividing line/strip," she explained. "I don't see anything wrong with the pics. What am I missing?" she questioned alongside photos of offence.</p> <p>According to parking rules in New South Wales, drivers "must not park within 3m of any double dividing lines" and those caught doing so can be fined.</p> <p>In the photos, the double lines appear close to the woman's car on a seemingly narrow road.</p> <p>One person explained the rule on in the comments of her Facebook post, writing, "It's possibly because there is not enough room for cars to pass your car without partly crossing their car across the double middle lines — it's illegal for them to do that."</p> <p>So you can't park in a place where there isn't enough space between the double middle lines and your car for other cars to pass."</p> <p>The parking rule surprised many who admitted they "had no idea" the rule existed, with some concluding you "see it all the time".</p> <p>"Sorry you got those fines. Wow. You learn something new every day," said one driver. "I had no idea this was a road rule until now! I'm sorry you copped such a huge fine," said another, to which the driver concluded it an "expensive lesson learnt". </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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New details revealed as Daylesford driver's lawyer speaks out

<p>Important information about the 66-year-old man who crashed into the Royal Hotel in Daylesford has been released. </p> <p>According to the man's lawyer, he required immediate treatment at the scene, as the elderly man is an insulin-dependent diabetic. </p> <p>Detectives <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/daylesford-crash-victims-family-speaks-out" target="_blank" rel="noopener">interviewed</a> the man, a Mount Macedon local, for the first time on Tuesday, but was not arrested or charged.</p> <p>Solicitor Martin Amad, who is representing the driver, said his client returned a negative alcohol breath test after the crash, and has no previous criminal history.</p> <p>"It was a terrible tragedy," Amad said.</p> <p>"My client has been interviewed by Victoria Police. He has not been charged with any offence. It's anticipated the investigation will take some time."</p> <p>"He is deeply distressed and feels great empathy for the families and friends of the victims and wider Daylesford community."</p> <p>The driver remains in the hospital and is undergoing medical treatment. </p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; background-color: #ffffff;">“At this time the driver has not been charged, with inquiries to continue after his eventual release from care,” a police statement provided to the</span><em style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';"> Herald Sun</em><span style="font-size: 16px; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; background-color: #ffffff;"> said.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Just days after the <a style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #258440; text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out 0s;" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/there-were-bodies-everywhere-five-people-dead-in-horror-pub-crash" target="_blank" rel="noopener">devastating car crash, t</a>he town of Daylesford is in mourning after five people died in the car crash. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Pratibha Sharma, her husband Jatin Chugh, and her daughter Anvi were enjoying the last of the weekend at the Royal Hotel in Daylesford when a white BMW SUV crashed into the beer garden on Sunday evening. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Sharma and Chugh died at the scene, while nine-year-old Anvi was flown to hospital but did not survive her injuries and was later pronounced dead. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">The family were joined by their friends, Vivek Bhatia, 38, his wife, and their two kids at the pub. </p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">Vivek and his 11-year-old son Vihaan were both killed in the crash, while the 36-year-old woman, and a second son, aged six, were taken to hospital for their injuries.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';"><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

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Common car act could cost touchy drivers a hefty fine

<p>A worried driver has shared his concerns over being slapped with a potential fine after being caught holding his girlfriend's hand while driving. </p> <p>The man questioned whether the hand holding warranted a fine, after the couple passed a road safety camera in the "compromising" position. </p> <p>“Me and my girlfriend were holding hands and there was a camera on the left side, will they fine me?” the poster anonymously posted in a Facebook group for discussions about mobile phone detection camera locations in Australia.</p> <p>Online responses were varied from commenters, as many thought he driver could attract a fine as the act could be misconstrued as a more serious offence. </p> <p>One person wrote, “Was there a (mobile phone) between your hand and your girlfriends?" while another cheekily added “As long as she was just holding your hand.”</p> <p>But while some people mocked the question, others were closer to the mark, writing, “Holding her hand is no problem other than you may not have had effective control of the vehicle.”</p> <p>“Both hands on the steering wheel is my take on it,” another said.</p> <p>While police and transport authorities confirmed to <a href="https://7news.com.au/travel/driving/common-driving-act-that-could-cost-romantic-drivers-up-to-514-c-12217058" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a> that no specific rule exists for holding hands, if the hand-holding is deemed to constitute a failure to maintain proper control of a motor vehicle, that would be an offence under Australian Road Rule 297 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.</p> <p>The rule is observed nationally, but not all states fine offending motorists equally.</p> <p>Those who are caught red-handed could be fined between $215 and $514 depending on where they are.</p> <p>A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said that drivers should use their best judgement, saying, “Drivers must also drive with care and attention, as there are significant penalties for more serious offending.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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