Music-loving motorist gets vindication

Thursday May 28, 2020 Written by Published in Crime
Music-loving motorist gets vindication

Stopped at a police checkpoint at Black Rock, Julian Zeman was given a verbal warning about having his phone playing music, even though it was controlled from the head unit.

He was told listening to the radio or a CD was fine. “You’d think messing around looking for a new CD while driving would be more of a concern than using a hands free option,” Zeman said.

The transport law changes have caused confusion for some local drivers, around which new provisions are implemented when, and the ban on cellphone use.  

Yesterday, Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt acknowledged Zeman had been right – as long as it was hands-free, Zeman was allowed to use his cellphone to control his music.

A Crown Law brief referred to an exemption for Bluetooth use in cars to access music, maps and GPS. This allowed driver to pre-set their music before commencing driving.

“Some responsibility is required to avoid fiddling around with the device while driving however,” Pitt said.

When he was pulled over by the police constable, Zeman had offered to a demonstration to show he wasn’t technically using his phone. “Let’s just say the officer wasn’t very impressed,” he said.

Section 30A of the Transport Amendment Act states a person must not, while driving a vehicle, use a mobile phone or similar electronic device for phone calls, emails, messages and video messages.

But there are certain exceptions as long as the driver doesn’t hold or manipulate the device, and making a 999 call.

Zeman said he felt harassed and unfairly treated by police. “People need to know their rights.” 

Leave a comment