Rugby star slammed for cell phone video while driving with wife

Sydney: British rugby star Sam Burgess is in strife with road safety authorities in Australia after posting a clip on social media that he filmed on his phone apparently while driving, reports said yesterday.

Sam Burgess with wife Phoebe Hooke
Sam Burgess with wife Phoebe Hooke

The 15-second video, now deleted, depicts Burgess' wife, Phoebe, and includes footage of the South Sydney forward with his hand on the wheel. Burgess has been slammed by authorities with New South Wales state government roads minister Duncan Gay saying he should, "be setting a better example," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Crack down
Road safety authorities have been trying to crack down on mobile phone use while driving, concerned it is a growing contributor to accidents and deaths.

His potential offence — holding a phone while at the wheel — carries a penalty of Aus $319 (US$ 235) and four demerit points on his driving licence. Burgess, who returned to Australia's National Rugby League this year after a lacklustre short stint playing rugby union in England, put the clip on Instagram over the weekend, but deleted it following criticism from other social media users.

"Using a mobile phone while driving not only puts your own life at risk, but the lives of your family and friends in the car with you, as well as other road users," road safety official Bernard Carlon told the Herald.

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