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Nanny state gone mad: Man arrested for using his phone while on horseback

On October 19th, 2019 at 11am, a 30-year-old man rode a horse in Tambaroora, in the Central Tablelands of NSW. It was a warm, dry morning, and traffic was light on Hill End Road. At a pace of 10km/h, the duo took on the Central Tablelands bathed in the enthusiastic glow of morning sun and trotted head-first into an arrest.

Our heavy-handed NSW police force arrived on the scene and pulled the man over for talking on his phone. In Mudgee Local Court, Magistrate David Day reported Under the road rules a horse is a vehicle…and he didn’t have a hands-free device fitted to the horse.”

Image: Nick Ghobashi

In the latest pointless NSW arrest, police have stopped and arrested a man for using his phone while on horseback. Yep.

The magistrate admitted he hadn’t dealt with similar issues before, appearing to wince with laughter during the court session. The subject pleaded guilty, and the matter was settled without a criminal conviction and labelled ‘trivial.’

“Under the road rules a horse is a vehicle … and he didn’t have a hands-free device fitted to the horse,” Magistrate David Day said.

According to NSW legislation, a ‘vehicle’ includes animal-drawn varieties either being ridden or leading a vehicle. Could this extend to someone giving a piggyback? Do we need a hands-free headset for that?

In conclusion, I would love to know what he was doing on his phone, whether it be following up a hay order or adding to his voice memo collection of neighs. I hope he was stopped by police who were also on horseback. What a fun, horsey time that would be for everyone involved.