But some drivers say they have been unfairly pinged, with some photos apparently showing seatbelts being worn. The majority of those offences were for using a mobile phone, but Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the number of people not wearing seatbelts was “shocking”. “To think seatbelts have been mandatory for 50 years, and almost 29,000 people have been caught doing the wrong thing in just six months is outrageous,” he said. More than 71,000 people were caught looking at their phone, which carries a $1,033 fine and the loss of four demerit points. The highest number of phone offences were in the Brisbane region, with 37,073 fines issued in the city area.
In the last six months, more than 100,000 Queensland drivers have been caught using their phones or without wearing seatbelts, resulting in fines totaling more than $84 million. The amount of offences has astonished Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Some drivers are appealing their fines because they believe the system is incorrect. Before a fine is levied, Mr Bailey claims that each photograph is inspected by a department official. 100,375 violation notices were issued between November 1 and May 25 based on photos from the state’s new camera systems.
Logan and the Gold Coast clocked the highest number of seatbelt offences, both for drivers and passengers, with more than 7,000 fines in both categories. “I just urge drivers, before you start the car, put the seatbelt on, make sure everyone else has one — especially if you have children,” Mr Bailey said. The Minister said data presented to him showed nearly a quarter of Queensland’s fatal crashes involved people not wearing a seatbelt. Since the start of the year 133 lives have been lost on Queensland roads.A surveillance image of a driver using a phone.