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How a flat phone battery could cost you a $550 fine

A flat battery is already stressful, but being fined for it is even more. Images: Getty

A flat iPhone battery can be annoying on a long commute home, but according to transport authorities, it could also set you back hundreds of dollars if you’re not careful.

UK woman was fined £476 (AU$886) after tapping on for a bus ride with her iPhone using Apple Pay, only to have her phone go flat.

Unable to prove that she had purchased the ticket, she was slammed with the massive fine. And after appealing the fine with bank statements, she was informed that she was being charged with failure to produce a valid ticket. While she was ultimately refunded the fine, the legal difficulties saw her denied a US visa.

And, transport authorities have warned, similar penalties apply in Australia.

“It’s important for passengers using mobile myki to ensure they have enough battery power on their phones to last the entire length of the journey,” a spokesperson for the Victorian Department of Transport told Yahoo Finance.

In Melbourne, passengers travelling without a valid ticket will be fined $248, or $83 for a child.

“The government is rolling out 160 free mobile charging points at several inner city and City Loop stations to make sure passengers are always able to access mobile myki on their journeys,” the spokesperson added.

“When Mobile myki was introduced, passengers were given a grace period to give them time to be comfortable with using the system.”

The same goes in Sydney, with a spokesperson telling commuters that if you can’t prove you bought a ticket, you may be fined.

Travelling without a valid ticket could see you fined $200 in NSW, with a maximum penalty of $550.

“If using a mobile device or wearable you must ensure your device has enough charge to complete your journey. Authorised officers have the right to ask to see your ticket – in this case, the device you tapped on with - at any time,” the spokesperson said.

“With the roll out of contactless transport payments, there are now multiple payment options for customers traveling on the Opal network. If your device is running flat you should consider tapping on and off with your Opal Card, credit card or debit card.”

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