Driver's 'ludicrous' stunt on 'cherished' Aussie beach

The act by the 4WD driver comes months after a crackdown on the beach and others in the area.

The driver of a 4WD has been heavily criticised over a Christmas Day stunt on a "cherished" stretch of Aussie beach.

In video of the incident on Queensland's Bribie Island, the motorist is seen driving at speed across soft sand, with the 4WD swerving at times and appearing to briefly lose full control. The clip triggered a wave of anger from fellow visitors to the island, with some fearing such actions would lead to a permanent ban on vehicles on the sand.

"That’s how idiots like this ruin it for everyone else. Totally ludicrous. No care for anyone on the beach and our precious turtles," one person said in response. "Lack of education or just plain ignorance?" another asked.

Two shots of the ute on the Bribie Island beach.
The ute swerves several times in the soft sand as it hurtles down the beach. Source: Facebook

It comes as state governments continue to voice their concerns over the conduct of drivers on Australian beaches. The South Australian government introduced reduced speed limits this month to protect "vulnerable" beachgoers from 4WD vehicles.

While the exact speed of the 4WD is unknown, it is believed to be in excess of the 50km beach limit for Bribie Island's beaches. That speed limit is reduced to 30km/h in strips of beach near camp sites. Authorities say soft sand must be tackled steadily and slowly.

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) says driving on the soft sand on Bribie Island is "difficult" and drivers are instead told to drive as close to the tide as possible on the harder, wet sand. Motorists are also warned to avoid the soft sand during turtle breeding season between November and April to avoid disrupting hatchlings access to the ocean.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted the DES regarding the video. The DES has previously stressed the island's beaches are a "cherished destination for locals and tourists".

Major crackdown on 'irresponsible' drivers on Bribie Island and other beaches

The video of the 4WD prompted some to fear for the driver's safety, with such conditions making it easier to flip vehicles. Earlier this year Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) cracked down on 'irresponsible' drivers on Queensland beaches by ramping up fines for a host of offences.

It comes after five fatal crashes on beaches controlled by QPWS since 2013, one of which was on Bribie Island.

“While most drivers and riders do the right thing while visiting these places, sadly we have seen the tragic consequences of irresponsible motorists including fatalities and significant injuries," Manager of QPWS Compliance Optimisation Michael Devery said.

“The increased fines might hurt if you get one, but they’re a lot less painful than a vehicle rollover or worse. It’s up to drivers to do the right thing."

Another major issue for authorities is vehicles being driven over sand dunes which is strictly prohibited to protect protected plants and "crucial" animal habitats. In September, a motorist was hit with a $1,000 fine for ignoring signage to not drive on Bribie's dunes following a court hearing.

"The outcome of this court matter serves as a strong reminder to all Bribie Island Recreation Area visitors to adhere to regulatory signs, directions, and the well-established guidelines for the area," the DES said.

Driving without due care and attention imposes a $575 fine and a loss of three demerit points.

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