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Brisbane couple fight $1000 seatbelt fine and win

Brisbane couple fight $1000 seatbelt fine and win
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Read Time:2 Minute, 33 Second

A Brisbane couple who believe they were wrongly fined over a seatbelt issue have managed to have the fee waived, but they are not completely happy with the decision.

In a move that surprised Caitlin*, the Queensland government reversed the decision to fine the driver (her partner) for what officials initially said was a passenger seatbelt infringement caught on camera.

Caitlin shared her story with 7NEWS.com.au after coverage of a similar case in Queensland.

Watch the latest news and stream for free on 7plus >>

Her partner Adam* was fined more than $1000 in July this year after Caitlin was photographed in the front passenger seat wearing a seatbelt that the infringement notice alleged was not properly adjusted and fastened.

The couple disputed the fine, arguing that they were adhering to the road rules and the seatbelt was on correctly.

That was rejected, and the couple were preparing to take the matter to court.

However, before the matter was heard, the state Department of Transport and Main Roads sent a letter to the couple overturning the decision on September 20, stating that “consideration has been given to the infringement notice and on this occasion the decision has been made to waive”.

A Brisbane couple who believe they were wrongly fined over a seatbelt issue have managed to have the fee waived, but they are not completely happy with the decision.  Credit: Caitlin*

The letter from Queensland Transport maintains that “the image appears to show the seatbelt was placed under the arm” incorrectly.

“Lap-sash seatbelts must be worn both over the shoulder and across the lap and be securely fastened,” the letter said.

“Please note, the waiving of the infringement notice is not an indication that similarly leniency will be shown should you continue to wear your seatbelt incorrectly or fail to ensure a passenger in your vehicle is wearing their seatbelt incorrectly”.

While welcoming the decision, Caitlin said she was “frustrated with the wording” of the letter.

Wrongly penalised

The state’s seatbelt policies were brought to light in September when it was revealed almost 2000 Queensland drivers were incorrectly penalised for seatbelt offences.

An error meant drivers, who had received two camera-issued infringement notices within 12 months for passengers not wearing a seatbelt correctly, were issued double demerit points when they should not have been.

The transport department has been notifying drivers who were impacted, focusing first on those who had incorrectly lost their licences.

An independent review was launched into the error, with Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey saying, “Simply put, this should never have happened”.

Caitlin believes there is still not enough information available to those who have been fined, and advises motorists to always ask and check if they feel the fine is not correct.

*Last names withheld

‘Tragic consequences’: The fines set to get more expensive

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