Qld seatbelt fines rise to more than $1000

Robyn Wuth |

Fines for Queenslanders caught not wearing a seatbelt will more than double from July.

Anyone caught not correctly wearing a seatbelt will be fined $1000 from July 1, and anyone caught twice within a year risks facing double the demerits and double the fines.

The fine is more than double the current penalty of $400.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said there was no excuse for drivers or passengers failing to wear a seatbelt.

“We’re getting tough, but you know it’s not that hard to solve – just do the right thing,” Mr Bailey said.

Detection cameras introduced to catch drivers using mobile phones have also caught huge numbers of people – primarily passengers – failing to wear seatbelts.

“What we see is 45 per cent of the people caught not wearing a seatbelt or wearing it properly have actually been the passengers.

“That tells me is it’s not just the passenger making a poor decision; it’s the driver making a poor decision and not enforcing the standards in the car.”

Despite seatbelts being mandatory in Queensland since 1972, police said some drivers still go to extraordinary lengths to avoid buckling up.

“People go to a wrecker and buy the piece that slots into the seatbelt so that the alarm doesn’t go off … just to avoid not wearing a seatbelt,” Superintendent Ray Rohweder said. 

The hike in seatbelt fines is part of a wider strategy with fines for running a red light increased to $550 and all fines for speeding increased.

“We’ve had a tragic start to the year, with 81 lives lost on Queensland roads already,” Mr Bailey said.

“Today we are reaffirming our commitment to zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 by cracking down on driver behaviour.”

The transport minister vowed that every cent collected from the fines would be re-invested into road safety.