David Stuart

Real police charges to avoid today

THE Melbourne Cup has been run and won for another year and now is the time some revellers get 'a little loose'.

While everyone knows there will be a strong police presence on the roads today, The Northern Star journalists thought we should clarify a few 'grey areas' for our readers.

Talking on a mobile phone.

Unless you have hands-free, or Bluetooth which works through your car stereo, in NSW motorists must be pulled over and parked, with their ignition off before they can talk on their mobile phone.

Lismore police station manager, Sergeant Matt Johnson said the vehicle has to be legally parked.

"The vehicle can not be turned on or capable of being immediately put into motion," he said.

"So when it's parked safely, the vehicle must be turned off."

Using a mobile phone as a motorcyclist

Sgt Johnson said the same rule applies for motorcyclists concerning mobile phone use as it does for cars.

"The rider must be stopped and parked safely with their motorcycle turned off," he said.

"The rider must get off their motorcycle before talking on a mobile phone."

Drink riding on a bicycle or horse

It is illegal to ride any type of vehicle, motorised or otherwise, while drunk on NSW roads, Sgt Johnson said.

"I have had that experience myself before with a horse rider," he said.

"Under section 4 of the road transport act any driver includes any person riding or driving  avehicle, which includes any person controlling the steering, movement or propulsion.

"This includes drawing or towing a trailer, and riding a vehicle.

"This includes a horse or other animals."

Jaywalking

Jaywalking is an offence and people need to use a pedestrian crossing or a traffic light crossing if it is available, Sgt Johnson said.

"People need to use a legal crossing within a reasonable distance of where they are," he said.

Urinating in public

Sgt Johnson said this offence was considered as offensive conduct

"It relates to not conducting him or herself in an offensive manner in or near or within view or hearing from a public place or school," he said.

"There is a statutory defence on the offender to satisfy the court that they had a reasonable excuse.

"This could turn into obscene exposure if a person urinates in a public place or school."

Indecent exposure

The safest way to avoid this charge is to consider the comfort of others as well as your own, Sgt Johnson said.

"People are not allowed to display any genitalia as was found in a case in 1997 in the Supreme Court of NSW," he said.



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