P-plater fined after girlfriend shoos fly

P-plater Tim Jackson will suffer a heavy points loss over an offence he didn’t know existed, leaving him with no margin for error while driving. Picture: DAVE TEASEDapto P-plater Tim Jackson thought that watching the road and staying within the speed limit was enough to keep him out of trouble.He learned yesterday that under Australian road rules a driver also has to know what his passenger is doing.He was fined $250 and stands to lose four points after police stopped his car on January 1 on the freeway at Figtree when they saw his girlfriend with her arm out the window, allegedly shooing out a fly.”I think that is totally unreasonable,” Jackson, 25, said when he appeared in Wollongong Local Court to fight the $250 fine, hoping a dismissal would prevent him losing points.Girlfriend Emma Peacock was also fined $250 but she did not lose any points from her licence.After magistrate Michael Stoddart suggested he get some advice, Jackson returned to court and pleaded guilty but he still maintained the fine was unreasonable because he was being excessively punished for something he didn’t do.”I didn’t even know she had her arm out the window … I was watching the road,” Jackson said.”But it’s your responsibility as the driver,” Mr Stoddart said.He found the offence proved but dismissed the matter with court costs of $76.Jackson outside the court said he was bitterly disappointed.”The magistrate was good but he can’t do anything about the point loss and there is no avenue of appeal to the RTA,” he said.”I’ve got two jobs and a sick grandmother to get around so this now leaves me with no margin for error because I’ve only got six points,” he said.Jackson said his girlfriend was trying to get an insect out of the car and her arm did momentarily protrude from the vehicle.”I don’t think she even told the officer who pulled us over because we were both so shocked.”A police highway patrol spokesman says it was rare for a driver to get a ticket for a passenger but he said the law allowed for it.
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