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Stanhope jumps on “Mr Law and Order”

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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42 Responses to Stanhope jumps on “Mr Law and Order”
seepi 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 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.

johnboy johnboy 5:06 pm 24 May 06

I was talking about me.

I don’t presume to be the conscience of anyone else unlike far too many people.

Dangerous driving is dangerous driving. Using a mobile phone is one of dozens of things that may, or may not, cause it.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 4:50 pm 24 May 06

Bollocks he would be johnboy. Are you so naieve to suggest that Wild Bill wouldn’t use something like this to slag Sonic?

Yep – what Aidan Bruford did was collossaly stupid for a man in his position. Yep – Sonic should have the legally correct and politically astute thing and accepted Bruford’s first offer of resignation. The CM should not been seen to be condoning grafitti.

But I can see why he didn’t. Sonic wouldn’t be the first employer to let emotion get in the way and leap to the defence of an errant employee.

Stanhope’s use of this is pretty childish, and he would do well to forget the whole Bruford saga; but Bill’s attitude to a dangerous act that should be discouraged is way too cavalier.

I’ll remember how undangerous people driving and talking on phones are next time some angry suburbanite in a Subaru Forester yakking on their Nokia nearly wipes me out on Parkes Way, johnboy.

johnboy johnboy 3:11 pm 24 May 06

Well you’d be guessing wrong then.

Big Al Big Al 2:39 pm 24 May 06

This bit I still dont get is that there’s shit-bags out there who honestly think a bit of graffitti is just so terrible, but gas-bagging on the phone while your’re driving is a bit of overblown pfaff … I’m guessing that if the places were reversed – the defence for Wild Bill’s staffer whould be “Get off your high horse – you labor types have been doing the graffitti gig for generations – talk about the pot calling the kettle black…” and Stanhope on the phone would be another example of the contempt he has for ordinary Canberrans, some of whom cant even afford a mobile phone – let alone a car to drive while using it …

You’re fucking wankers, the lot of you…

johnboy johnboy 12:07 pm 24 May 06

One of them “might” kill someone, but conclusively did not.

The other very definitely did vandalise property for political purposes while employed by the executive office of the Government.

yeah those mobile phone users are a real menace.

Ari Ari 11:46 am 24 May 06

If I found someone spray-painting my proeprty I think it likely somebody might get killed.

areaman areaman 11:41 am 24 May 06

To draw a parallel between a traffic offence and a public defacing of property is both pathetic and juvenile.

To true, only one of them might kill someone.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 8:17 am 24 May 06

Standope… 🙂

vg vg 9:51 pm 23 May 06

To draw a parallel between a traffic offence and a public defacing of property is both pathetic and juvenile. Sure Billy has done the wrong thing, and will probably end up paying a fine, but his boss isnt trying to hide him from it.

Standope is nothing short of a hysterical moron

areaman areaman 4:21 pm 23 May 06

But have you NEVER done it? Is the Chief Minister willing to put hand on heart and say he’s NEVER done it?

Nope, but I’m not a “lora norda” scare mongerer either. Those in glass houses and all that.

VYBerlinaV8 VYBerlinaV8 4:19 pm 23 May 06

I only believe in using your phone in the car when you’re drunk.

Chris S Chris S 3:30 pm 23 May 06

I think Big Al and Mr Shab have won the debate, but Les Whinin has got the award of the week for:


seepi seepi 3:22 pm 23 May 06

I honestly have never used a mobile in a car. I just don’t see the need to answer the phone the second it rings – you can always call back.
The concern with Bill S is that he is obviousley so used to doing it that he didn’t think twice, even while being filmed.

Les Whinin Les Whinin 2:36 pm 23 May 06

All praise be to Big Al, but Mr_Shab also makes bloody good sense.

Stanhope shouldn’t have got on his moral high-horse and cried about hypocrisy, he should be using his high profile to push Stephoneiac’s poor judgement as a need for improvements in driver attitude and behaviour.

Binker Binker 2:01 pm 23 May 06

My bad-criminal

johnboy johnboy 1:45 pm 23 May 06

I don’t actually know that 50% of people use phones in the car – I don’t.

But have you NEVER done it? Is the Chief Minister willing to put hand on heart and say he’s NEVER done it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Bill is going to be mocked about this for years and doubly glad that his big balled willy waving on law and order is going to be undermined.

VYBerlinaV8 VYBerlinaV8 1:41 pm 23 May 06

A cranial record?? I this where someone just remembers the details but doesn’t write them down?
As for the road safety angle, we all know no government gives two craps, because if they did we’d have mandatory regular license retests and stringent vehicle inspections (like pilots and aircraft). Also, police would actually book people for traffic infringements other than speeding.

Big Al Big Al 1:41 pm 23 May 06

“…then a cranial record is attracted” – Is that when they get out a big felt-tipped pen and write “IDIOT” on the dope-users forehead?

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