I was slapped with £600 fine while abroad for little-known driving law – make sure you don’t get caught out
A HOLIDAYMAKER was left horrified after being slapped with a hefty £600 fine for breaking a little-known driving rule while abroad.
The German national was visiting Queensland, Australia, when he was given a penalty notice for disobeying the barmy driving rule.
He was pulled over and penalized because his passenger was wearing her seatbelt incorrectly.
The woman had been sleeping in the car and positioned the seatbelt below her arm – but Aussie motoring laws require it to be worn over your shoulder.
The desperate driver appealed to social media users for help with his dilemma, discussing whether it was worth challenging in court.
He wrote in a Facebook post: “Unfortunately I got a seatbelt fine of around 1000$ (£600) because my passenger was wearing her seatbelt below her arm while sleeping.
“Would like to check what legal options I have now and if I would have any chance at court.
“Has anyone had a similar situation or has a contact for free legal advice? Appreciate any help!!”
According to the Queensland Government website, there are only a few exemptions from the rules in exceptional circumstances.
This includes if you are the driver and are reversing the vehicle, if you carry a seatbelt exemption certificate or if the vehicle was originally manufactured without seatbelts fitted.
Motorists can receive large fines and points on their license if they or their passengers are not using the safety feature correctly.
The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt Down Under was recently raised by almost triple the previous amount to £600 and four points on July 1, 2022.
Social media users broke the news to the tourist that they were unlikely to receive any leniency for the traffic violation.
One wrote: “You can’t get out of it. They take seatbelts seriously here in every state. Your friend wasn’t wearing hers correctly and there’s no way around it.”
Another said: “Don’t bother about going to court as if you are found guilty, the fine is higher, plus court costs.”
A third chimed in: “You’re responsible for your passengers. You are 100% liable for the fine and there is 0 chance you will get out of it.”
And a fourth added: “No way I would bend over and pay, bloody extortion. Fight it all the way. She was wearing her seat belt.”
Other sympathetic users encouraged the German man to arrange for the passenger to fork out for the fine, as it was “her fault”.
One said: “You could approach your passenger to pay for half. Would be fair.”
Another commented: “Make your friend pay for it as she was the one that caused the fine, or go halves because you should have said something.”
Queensland authorities have recently launched a crackdown on the roads, after almost 50,000 fines for mobile phone use and seatbelt violations were distributed in just four months earlier this year.
Covert cameras have been installed across the state to catch out rule-breakers since last July.
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