Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has taken aim at the thousands of irresponsible drivers who were busted breaking two very basic road rules.
Hefty fines, hidden cameras, and the risk of causing injury or killing someone was not enough to stop more than 15,000 Queensland drivers from breaking two basic road rules in January.
Almost 500 drivers across the sunshine state were busted every day for the entire month for either not wearing a seatbelt or using their phone behind the wheel.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk put the guilty motorists on blast on Saturday in a post to Facebook, highlighting that distracted drivers were just as dangerous as those driving drunk.
“Spot what’s wrong in these photos,” her post, which included several images from fixed cameras, read.
“Nearly 500 people a day were caught on our roads for being distracted while driving during a spike in January – not wearing a seatbelt or using a phone behind the wheel.”
Ms Palaszczuk revealed that since hi-tech cameras had been installed across the state’s road network in November, more than 37,000 drivers had been busted flouting the rules.
“Using a phone while driving results in a $1033 fine because it distracts drivers as much as driving while drunk,” she wrote.
One photo showed a woman driving while not wearing a seatbelt, and another with her seatbelt worn incorrectly with the strap placed under her right arm.
Another photo showed a woman driving while holding her phone up to her face with her left hand, while a final photo showed a man who had his seatbelt unclipped and loosely draped over his right shoulder.
In response to some Facebook users accusing the state government of using fixed cameras as a “cash grab”, Ms Palaszczuk explained what money from fines were used for.
“The funds from distracted driver cameras, as with all camera detected offences, are reinvested in road safety initiatives and education programs,” she wrote.
Many however were equally as shocked at the volume of drivers caught doing the wrong thing.
“I don’t understand how people can be in a car without a seatbelt. It’s just a habit that everyone should have from childhood,” one person responded.
“How hard is it to wear a seatbelt? I didn’t realise people actually didn’t wear it properly or at all?” another said.
Others thought the penalty was too light for the severity of the crime.
“We need harsher penalties. If caught with mobile phones it should be $1500 and lose 12 points and lose license for five years. If caught without a seatbelt, fine should be $600 and lose six points, do it again lose license for two years,” one comment read.
A Queensland driver was earlier this week mocked online after he complained about a steep fine he received for using his phone behind the wheel.
The motorist was busted by a fixed mobile phone camera while stopped at a set of lights on Mains Road in Macgregor, south of Brisbane, just after 6pm on January 20.
He was pictured inside his BMW holding what appeared to be his phone, and was subsequently slapped with four demerit points and a $1033 fine.
Read related topics:Annastacia PalaszczukBrisbane