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Aussie cops pose as window washers to catch drivers on their phones

Melbourne police have been pictured dressing up as window washers at intersections in order to catch drivers on their phones - but NZ Police say it probably wouldn't happen here.

Photos of police in high-visiblity vests carrying brushes were shared on Facebook, and were taken at the corner of the Maroondah Highway and Springvale Road, Nunawading.

Using a phone while driving is illegal in Victoria, with a fine of up to AU$476 (NZ$508) - but roadside window washing is also illegal, with a potential fine of AU$140 (NZ$150).

Victoria Police have said their undercover officers didn't actually wash any windscreens, so didn't break the law - but they did issue 35 infringement notices to drivers.

A spokesperson for New Zealand Police said "in some areas of New Zealand window washing is illegal, so police would not take this approach.

"However drivers need to be aware of the very real risk that distractions represent, especially using mobile phones."

In New Zealand, the fine for using a mobile phone is $150.

According to the New Zealand Transport Agency, 60 per cent of Kiwis admit to using a mobile phone while driving.

From January 2010 to June 2017, police pulled over 134,908 people for cell phone offences, and gave out fines totalling $10,624,103, according to police figures.

Between 2007 and 2012, there were 28 deaths caused by drivers using their cell phones in New Zealand.

Overall, NZTA says talking on your mobile while driving makes you four times more likely to crash, while sending or receiving a text message is even worse.

A Victoria police officer wearing a high-vis jacket and posing as a window washer at an intersection during an undercover sting on drivers using their mobile phones.
A Victoria police officer wearing a high-vis jacket and posing as a window washer at an intersection during an undercover sting on drivers using their mobile phones. Source: Facebook


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