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The face mask mistake that could cost drivers $349

Drivers have been issued a warning about a mask habit that could see them fined hundreds of dollars.

With many people in the habit of keeping a face mask handy, there’s one crucial spot they should never store them in the car.

Much like dangling air fresheners and decorative pairs of dice, drivers aren’t allowed to hang their masks from their rearview mirror.

Doing so in Queensland can cost drivers $311, while in NSW they could be hit with three demerit points and a $349 fine.

Mask on the dashboard of a car.
Motorists have been warned against a common mask habit. Source: Getty Images

The fine is $248 and no demerit points in Victoria, and while penalties exists in other jurisdictions, the exact penalties are not listed.

Warning issued to drivers over masks

The RACQ issued a warning on Tuesday, telling motorists “it's a simple error but it could cost you big”.

“Greater Brisbane drivers are naturally in the habit of having their mask handy at all times, but having a mask dangling from the rear-view mirror isn’t safe,” RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said.

“Drivers need to have a clear view of the road from all angles so they can easily spot other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Ms Ritchie said masks could easily create a blind spot and subsequently increase the risk of a crash, which was particularly dangerous on highways and busy roads.

“You shouldn’t have anything hanging on their mirror which could block your view – that includes your mask. So pack it away where it won’t be a distraction – no matter how long your drive is,” she said.

It comes after confusion over whether drivers would be fined for not wearing a mask while driving during Brisbane’s three-day lockdown early this month.

Face mask hanging from a rearview mirror.
Drivers haver been warned to stop hanging their masks from their rearview mirrors. Source: Getty Images

Queensland Health told the public they must wear a mask in the car, even if they were travelling alone, which created mass confusion.

Days later, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk backflipped on the earlier request, telling residents of Brisbane they no longer were required to wear a mask while driving.

Queensland recorded three cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, all in hotel quarantine. There are 26 active cases in Queensland.

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