But one man from Massachusetts discovered last week that a smartphone is not suited to the task of a headlight for a motor vehicle, at least not as far as the Maine State Police are concerned.

The unnamed scooter rider was toodling along the Maine Turnpike in the early hours of July 27 when Maine State Trooper Scott Harakles noticed the rider did not have his scooter’s lights turned on and was, in fact, using the flashlight on his smartphone as a headlight. No doubt the light was enough to help our intrepid scooterer see where he was going, but Harakles said the man and his moped were hard to see from behind on the dark highway.

To boot, the scooter was not registered, nor did the guy possess a valid driver’s licence. Adding to the offender’s problem was the fact that scooters and mopeds are not allowed on the Maine Pike.

The rider was cited for operating an unregistered motor vehicle and driving without a licence. The cops didn’t say whether the man was holding the phone as he drove, which is also an offense in many jurisdictions. He did reach his destination — about 120 km away — in the back of a police cruiser, but his scooter was towed.

This story calls to mind another recent example of poor life choices in which a man was pulled over in Thunder Bay and found to be driving while sitting in a folding camping chair, as he had removed the seats from his pickup truck.