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Stanhope jumps on “Mr Law and Order”

By Kerces 22 May 2006 42

During this Stateline edition our new Opposition leader Bill Stefaniak was apparently filmed using a mobile phone while driving, which has been illegal for some years now.

As I said in a comment earlier, the Canberra Times picked up on this in their Sunday paper. It seems it took Mr Stefaniak three separate phone calls to journalist Paul Malone to get his story straight, which is that “he believed he was pulling over to make a call and might well have punched in some numbers while the car was still mobile”. The matter was referred to the police on Friday night and they are reviewing the footage.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has now gotten into the act with this extraordinary release in which he calls his opponent “Mr Law-and-Order” (twice) and “Mr Lock-‘em-up-and-throw-away-the-key” and recalls that this was the same man “who led the ferocious charge in hounding one of my own staff members out of a job and onto the dole after the staff member was charged with a property crime last year” [the link is mine].

And he continues: “Yet now, his attitude towards the law seems almost disdainful. Not only does it appear that he was so cavalier about traffic laws that he willingly permitted himself to be filmed transgressing those laws, he apparently thinks it is sufficient for him to blandly reassure the public that he will pay any resulting fine, if and when it is imposed.”

Goodness me!

Mr Stanhope says Wild Bill should either take his own medicine or explain to the public why a mere staffer has a zero-tolerance policy forced upon him while an elected member of parliament does not.

So which is worse: a bit of graffiti or driving while touching a mobile phone?

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Stanhope jumps on “Mr Law and Order”
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seepi 10:08 am 25 May 06

But using a phone while driving is illegal because it is dangerous. Just because most people seem to feel like they have the exceptional driving skills to be able to handle both, doesn’t mean it is ok. It looks like Canberra police have missed the boat on this one. During their absence from the roads in the past few years most people seem to have formed a strong habit for driving and chatting on the phone.

Thumper 8:26 am 25 May 06


although using a phone in the car is dangerous, is it any more dangerous than say, stuffing your face with a bigmac, having the stereo on at 150dBs, doing 60kph on suburban streets (perfectly legal), etc.

Bill was a fool. But Sonic made himself out to be a bigger fool by bringing up the Bruford case. Bill had only one person to blame, himself. Sonic actively tried to protect his little acolyte and even defend his actions.

If I were Sonic I would have let sleeping dogs lie on this one.

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