A US senator was caught using a virtual background to make it seem like he was working from home and attending a Zoom meeting when he was actually driving.
According to The Guardian, Republican Ohio state senator Andrew Brenner used a virtual background of his home office in an attempt to conceal that he was driving — but was quickly called out when attendees noticed a seatbelt strapped across his chest.
The senator apparently began the call sitting in a parked car, but the footage soon showed the continuous movement of his hands and Brenner scanning the road. As the background flickered, momentary glimpses of the road could also be caught.
The Ohio State Assembly had earlier that day introduced House Bill 283 to prevent distracted driving. The law proposed a ban on writing, sending, or reading texts, viewing videos or taking photos, live streaming and using apps on electronic devices while driving.
The new law also makes holding an electronic device while driving a primary offence and permits the police to stop the driver. Only voice-operated or hands-free devices are exempted from the law.
Though he was seen responding to questions during the meeting, Brenner later defended the move, saying that he wasn’t distracted.
“I had two meetings that were back to back that were in separate locations. And I've actually been on other calls, numerous calls, while driving. Phone calls for the most part but on video calls, I'm not paying attention to the video. To me, it's like a phone call," he said.