Crikey! Australians to be fined for swearing in public

Law allows police officers to issue on-the-spot tickets to Australians caught using indecent language.

May 31, 2011 16:55
Hoiser Lane in Melbourne, Australia

Hoiser Lane in Melbourne_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Australians beware, swear in public and you could end up getting fined.

Lawmakers in Australia are setting out to clear the country's streets of a certain type of noise pollution: swearing, AFP reported Tuesday. The new law is expected to pass in the country's second most populous state, Victoria, later this week.

According to the new legislation, police officers will be able to issue on-the-spot fines of up to AU$240 (NIS 916) to people caught boisterously using offensive phrases or words.

Victoria's Attorney-General, Robert Clark, defended the new law, saying it would save time and money by allowing police officers to act immediately and not dally with lengthy court proceedings.

Admitting to the occasional curse word under his breath, Clark said the law was not aimed at minor outbursts, but rather curbing "the sort of obnoxious, offensive behavior in public that makes life unpleasant for everybody else."

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