More than 1800 Queensland drivers hit with ‘incorrect’ seatbelt penalties

Queensland has ordered an independent review into its controversial mobile phone and seatbelt camera system after more than 1800 drivers were incorrectly slapped with double demerits.

A system fault has resulted in drivers having double demerit points incorrectly applied for a passenger seatbelt offence captured by the cameras between November 1, 2021 and August 31, 2023.

The fault was identified during an analysis of offences issued by the system and was immediately rectified, said the Department of Transport and Main Roads in a statement.

This has resulted licences being suspended incorrectly, or drivers serving a “good driving behaviour period”.

“Simply put – this should never have happened,” said Transport Minister Mark Bailey. “I am sorry to every person impacted by this.

“My department is receiving urgent legal advice on the swift reissuance of incorrectly suspended licences.

“For the remaining licence holders who have retained their licence but incorrectly lost some points, Transport and Main Roads will reverse the incorrectly issued double demerit points.”

According to TMR, a driver is only impacted when:

    • They have committed two or more seatbelt offences within a period of 12-months; and
    • One of those offences was a camera-detected offence where a passenger not correctly wearing a seatbelt.

A dedicated hotline has been established on 1800 740 786. Drivers who believe they have been impacted are encouraged to get in touch.

LNP seized on the revelation, with Deputy Leader Jarrod Bleijie saying: “This is Mark Bailey again. It’s another stuff up again.”

“This will cost Queenslanders again,” he said.

“And Mark Bailey won’t be held to account by this chaotic checked-out Labor Government, again.”

The Queensland Government last month launched a $1.5 million road safety campaign focusing on wearing seatbelts correctly, featuring graphic dramatisations of crashes.

The campaign warns that drivers risk a $1161 fine and four demerit points for each person in their vehicle who is not properly restrained.

“The new mobile phone and seatbelt enforcement cameras have revealed more Queenslanders are incorrectly wearing seatbelts compared to those not using them at all,” the state government said in a statement announcing the launch.

More information, including a self-assessment criteria, is available on the Transport and Main Roads website.

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