Charlotte Foster

Travel Trouble

Motorists "gobsmacked" by confusing fines that are about to DOUBLE

Motorists "gobsmacked" by confusing fines that are about to DOUBLE

Transport officials in Queensland have warned residents to be on high alert as the installation of new high tech cameras has seen tens of thousands of fines issued in just a few months. 

The infrared cameras, which detect both mobile phone and seatbelt offences, were launched in Queensland in July last year. 

For their first three months of use, the cameras generated warnings to motorists doing the wrong thing. 

Since November, the cameras have been issuing fines, catching more than 75,000 people in just six months.

Annabelle Brett was shocked when she received a fine in the mail, thinking she had been caught for speeding. 

"But when I saw that it was a seatbelt fine I was pretty gobsmacked," Brett told A Current Affair.

Annabelle claims she always wears her seatbelt and was confused by the $400 fine. 

"If you are driving over 60 kilometres an hour, in my car and most modern cars nowadays anyway, it (the seatbelt alarm) goes mental. Like it's beeping the whole time," she said.

After posting about her fine online, the Queensland resident was inundated with messages from other drivers who had received similar fines. 

One of those people was Antony Tseng, who was also caught on the new seatbelt cameras.

"I thought initially, that's impossible, because I always wear my seatbelt. I drive a Tesla which is quite savvy in terms of technology; it would have obviously let me know," Tseng said.

Andrew Mahon from Transport and Main Roads Queensland said the cameras rarely get it wrong.

"The technology is exceptional, the image quality is very high quality and we can always determine whether or not an offence has occurred," Mahon said.

Of the 75,000 fines handed out in the past six months, 20,000 have been for seatbelt offences.

Currently the fine for not wearing a seatbelt, or not wearing it correctly is $413, but it will go up to $1078 from July 1st.

Image credits: Getty Images

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