Christiansen was photographed driving on a motorway north of Aarhus while holding a mobile telephone to his ear, in breach of traffic laws, media including Ekstra Bladet and Politiken reported.
There was no doubt that the MP, who voted in favour of stricter traffic laws in December last year, was the owner of the vehicle in question – an outsized portrait of his face, along with his name and party logo, was plastered on the driver’s side doors.
The photo gained traction on social media on Thursday after being shared on Twitter. The photo was not taken by the owner of the account which posted it, according to comments on the post linked below.
Så kan man da tale om, at den TUNGE trafik, er til fare for beboerne i Mariager!! Bodega Kim fyrer den af med håndholdt mobil i valg-slæden ????#dkpol #FV19 #stærktsignalatsende pic.twitter.com/twDQtRIG8R
— Steffen Larsen (@JostaLarsen) May 1, 2019
Ekstra Bladet, which published the photo along with a video ostensibly taken just before or after it, reports that the motorist who recorded the footage wished to remain anonymous, but said that Christiansen was travelling at around 100 kilometres per hour at the time.
In December last year, Christiansen was part of a broad parliamentary majority which voted to introduce harsher punishments for using a cell phone while driving: a 1,500-krone fine and penalty points added to the offender’s driving licence. The new penalties are yet to be implemented.
Christiansen has been chairperson of the Danish Road Safety Commission (Færdselssikkerhedskommissionen) since 2016 and is a member of the parliamentary Transport, Building and Housing Committee.
Contacted by Ekstra Bladet for comment, the MP claimed he had been “listening to music” on his telephone, rather than using it to make a call, when the images were taken. He added that he “didn’t know whether this was illegal”.
When it was pointed out that this was in fact illegal under clause 55a in the Danish traffic law, the transport spokesperson said he would “take this into account”.
“I apologize, of course, if it is illegal. It won’t happen again,” he said.
In its report on the matter, Politiken writes that it “wanted to ask whether (Christiansen), as chair of the Danish Road Safety Commission, has a special responsibility for his behaviour on the road”.
But the MP “cut off the conversation before we reached that stage,” the newspaper reports.
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