Seatbelt exemptions must be registered to avoid fines

26 Jul 2021


Seatbelt exemption


Queensland has new fixed and portable cameras to detect drivers illegally using mobile phones and failing to wear a seatbelt.

Doctors are encouraged to support their patients with seatbelt exemption certificates to register with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) as soon as possible.

Patients who register their seatbelt exemption certificate will ensure they do not receive a warning letter or fine if detected driving while not wearing a seatbelt.

If a valid certificate is held but not registered at the time of a penalty being issued, then it will be waived if the driver provides a copy to TMR within 28 days.

The cameras aim to encourage drivers to put their phones away and ensure that they and their passengers are wearing seatbelts.

Using mobile phones illegally and failing to wear a seatbelt contribute significantly to the number of lives lost and serious injuries on Queensland roads each year.

In 2020, 43 people who lost their lives on Queensland roads were not wearing a seatbelt, and a further 187 unrestrained vehicle occupants were hospitalised because of crashes. Last year also saw 23 lives lost, where driver distraction was a contributing factor, and 1,463 people hospitalised because of crashes involving driver distraction and inattention.

Warning period

There is a three-month warning period when motorists caught on camera committing mobile phone or seatbelt offences will not be penalised. Instead, drivers will receive a warning letter encouraging them to change their behaviour.

Road rules

There are now stronger road rules relating to mobile phone use.

A driver must not have a mobile phone in their hand or resting on any part of their body, including their lap, while driving – regardless of whether the phone is on or in use.

The seatbelt rules have not changed.

Penalties

From 1 November 2021, the following penalties will apply to those caught by the cameras.

  • $1,033 and 4 demerit points for illegal mobile phone use.
  • $413 and three demerit points for failing to wear a seatbelt. Drivers can also be fined a further $413 and three demerit points for each passenger not properly restrained.
  • Double demerit points apply for repeat mobile phone and seatbelt offences committed within a 12-month period.

Useful links

Lodge seatbelt exemptions for medical reasons here

Read further information about the new cameras, penalties, road rules, and exemptions here

 

 


Published: 26 Jul 2021