VIDEO: Woman caught reading while behind the wheel

A WOMAN videoed driving at night while apparently reading a book has come under fire from police and road safety advocates who describe her behaviour as "ludicrous" and "completely dumb and dangerous".

The woman was caught on video driving along Hewletts Rd in Tauranga with a book balanced on her steering wheel with the vehicle's interior light on.


A man then posted the video on Facebook, saying it looked like she was reading the book.

"It looked like she wasn't slowing down for the orange light like they hadn't seen that it had changed. She did stop in the end but it was obvious that her full attention wasn't on the road," he said on Facebook.

He said he got next to her and saw that her interior light was on and saw there was a book on her steering wheel.

"My quick thinking camera man in the back seat got a short video."

The man who posted the video and comments would not comment when contacted.

The Bay of Plenty Times has pixelated an image of the woman from the video and is not naming the Facebook page for legal reasons.

Senior Sergeant Ian Campion, head of Western Bay road policing, told the Bay of Plenty Times distractions played a big part in a high percentage of crashes, and that included anything as "ludicrous" as reading a book or trying to read a road map, doing your hair and using cellphones while driving.

"It certainly is extremely risky and results in a high proportion of crashes. It's a particularly dangerous practice," he said.

"Their actions just beggar belief."

AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said reading while driving was poor and incredibly stupid.

"It's just a completely dumb and dangerous thing to do."

It was dangerous having a light on inside a car at night as this was blinding and ruined night vision, Mr Noon said.

Mr Noon said he occasionally heard reports of people trying to read the newspaper while driving, as well as people doing other distracting things such as trying to put on makeup or "grooming" themselves.

He also mentioned other "stupid" things such as people trying to climb out of a moving vehicle.

"If people could see themselves, they would realise how stupid and dangerous they were being."


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