As if risking your life wasn't reason enough to wear a seatbelt, a steep increase in fines is also threatening the hip pocket of residents in one Aussie state.
The price of not wearing a seatbelt is set to skyrocket in Queensland from July 1, with motorists looking at a fine over $1000 from July 1 — more than double the current fine.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the increase in fines was a part of the Queensland Government's 10-year road safety strategy, which focused on saving lives on Queensland Roads.
"The message is simple," he said on Monday. "If you don’t want one of these fines, do the right thing on our roads.”
Mr Bailey said running a red light and speeding will also be increased from July 1, to "send a clear message that speeding, regardless of the level, is dangerous and will not be tolerated.”
The new penalties are:
Running a red light will go from $413 to $575
Travelling 1-10km over the speed limit will increase from $183 to $275.
Travelling 11-20km over the speed limit will increase from $275 to $431
Travelling 21-30km over the speed limit will increase from $459 to $646
Travelling 31-40km over the speed limit will increase from $643 to $1,078
Travelling 40km over the speed limit will increase from $1,286 to $1,653
'No apologies' for tough rules: Mark Bailey
Since the seatbelt detection cameras went live four months ago, almost 14,000 seatbelt offences have been recorded.
“We make no apologies for being tough on this reckless and dangerous behaviour, just like we did for mobile phone offences," Mr Bailey said.
Mr Bailey said almost half of those caught not wearing seatbelts were passengers.
"What we see is 45 per cent of the people caught not wearing a seatbelt or wearing it properly have actually been the passengers," he said.
"That tells me is it's not just the passenger making a poor decision; it's the driver making a poor decision and not enforcing the standards in the car."
Mr Bailey said the strategy to improve road safety would be delivered in three phases across 10 years, with each phase supported by an action plan.
The first of these is the Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2022-24.
Seatbelts have been mandatory in Queensland since 1972, although police said some drivers still go to extraordinary lengths to avoid buckling up.
"People go to a wrecker and buy the piece that slots into the seatbelt so that the alarm doesn't go off ... just to avoid not wearing a seatbelt," Superintendent Ray Rohweder said.
The transport minister said all money collected from the fines would be re-invested into road safety.
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