FHP: Watching TV while driving motorcycle against the law

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While returning to the FOX 13 News studios, reporter Aaron Mesmer recorded what appears to be a motorcyclist watching TV while driving along Interstate 275 South. 

It happened Wednesday evening. Mesmer said he was in the passenger seat when he saw what looked like an iPad-sized screen out of the corner of his eye. When he focused on the screen he realized it was  attached to the front of a motorcycle, pointed to the driver's face.

In several clips of video, there seems to be several shots of video with a person's face visible in  one frame. The screen does not appear to have a map or other GPS display. During another frame, what  appears to be two heads appear on the screen. 

Mesmer said the motorcyclist drove for several miles, with the video playing the whole time, before  driving out of view. 

A day later, FOX 13 wanted to get some feedback from law enforcement and motorcycle experts.

"This is a prime example of what not to do when you get behind the wheel of any kind of vehicle, especially a motorcycle," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

Gaskins said, not only is this dangerous, it's also against the law.

"It's a poor decision by the driver to drive, not only with a device that would be illegal, but also to drive in a manner that's illegal by having the TV on, in which that could very easily distract your attention," he said.

It's unclear who the driver is and the crew was never able to get a clear look and the license plate.

Ryan Logriem, a service manager at Harley Davidson of Tampa, said the bike does not appear to be a Harley, but this kind of device would have to be installed after the customer bought the bike.

"It would have to be an after-market application and that's something we would not install here," he said, adding there are options that customers can have installed like a display screen with a higher-end navigation unit.

Logriem added a lot of motorcyclists will have televisions installed on show bikes but the devices should not be used while the motorcycle is in motion.

"Any distraction is dangerous when we're riding. We take a risk everyday when we get on a bike, we know the dangers out there," he said. "There's a time and place for it and on the highway is not one of them."

Gaskins said a violation of the law could result in a $103 fine. There are a few exceptions to the law, including GPS units.