Married At First Sight

OPINION: Your favourite reality TV stars keep breaking the law and it's absolutely outrageous

It's completely unacceptable and it HAS to stop!

By Anita Lyons
What is it with Aussies and reality TV stars?
We watch them on our TV screens night after night. We stalk their every move on Instagram. We just can't get enough.
While our TV networks market these stars as "normal people" just "looking for love", very quickly they become anything but.
They go from nobodies to household names in just a few weeks, racking up tens of thousands of Instagram followers and a huge ability to influence a startling number of young Australians.
It's a huge responsibility having hundreds of thousands of fans waiting for your next move with baited breath.
So when we see these stars get behind the wheel of a car, whip out their phones and start filming while driving, not only is this behaviour absolutely illegal, it's unbelievably damaging.
Sam Ball and Jessika Power from Married at First Sight were both caught uploading and driving. (Source: Instagram / Sam Ball / Jessika Power)
Let's take Jessika Power from Married at First Sight as an example.
Over the weekend, Jessika uploaded a Snapchat video where she appeared to be under the influence of alcohol while driving a car.
The 27-year-old filmed herself and her aunt Rebecca Clair while she was behind the wheel, looking to find alcohol and cigarettes late at night.
In the now-deleted Snapchat video, which Jessika says was only shared with her close friends and family, she can be seen slurring her words, screaming and laughing, filming the video herself while she also drives her car.
While Jessika issued an apology, it begs the question. Should this have even happened in the first place?
The answer, of course, is a resounding no.
Jessika has been accused of drink driving - which she strenuously denies - but what she cannot avoid are the allegations that she used her phone while driving.
For starters, driving and texting is an illegal act and not only was she right to have apologised, but she could face serious legal action.
While we don't know for sure if she was reprimanded, we certainly feel like it was warranted.
Jessika posted this apology on her Instagram story on Monday night. (Image: @jessikapower/Instagram)
But this is not the first time a MAFS star has behaved inappropriately behind the wheel.
Jess' co-star Sam Ball regularly uploads video of himself to Instagram while he's driving.
Whether he's just looking in the camera, listening to music or chilling with his friends – he is always in the driver seat and on his phone.
WATCH NEXT: MAFS star Sam Ball uploads video to his social media account while driving
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This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable.
According to Roads and Maritime Services, five per cent of fatalities on Australian roads are a result of inattention on the road.
This includes texting, talking and using social media – even if you are stopped at a traffic light.
In fact, the law permits that you are unable to touch your phone (on a full unrestricted licence) unless you are handing it to a passenger, with it even stricter for P1 and P2 licence holders.
NSW Police handed out 42,000 fines last year to drivers caught using their mobile phones, an offence that attracts a loss of five demerit points and a $330 fine.
But this does not seem enough to deter these stars from uploading.
Sam dancing to a song while driving and Instagramming. (Source: Instagram/Sam Ball)
What type of messages are these stars sending their younger audiences?
Do they not realise that we can all see them?
Do they know that their videos will be recorded by numerous media outlets, not to mention the countless tweens, teens and adults that consume their content daily?
If people like Jess and Sam are seen uploading videos from their cars, we could have an epidemic on our hands, with thousands of people creating Instagram stories from their own vehicles and thus, we'll have thousands of people being unsafe on the roads.
Hopefully, appropriate action is being taken against these reality TV stars.
If the law fails to protect us, let's hope that being caught out in the media means they will soon face the wrath of the public.