Subtle detail in traffic photo costs Queensland woman $1078

A Queensland woman says she is "shocked" after copping a $1078 fine when she was caught out on a seatbelt technicality.

"If you're having a bad day, at least it's not as bad as mine," Hailey Gillard said in a TikTok video that has quickly gone viral.

She explains she was captured on camera wearing her seatbelt under her shoulder when she was a passenger. She said she had moved the seatbelt there as she was feeling sick.

According to the Queensland Government, this is the incorrect way and is a punishable offence. Seatbelts at all times must be worn with the belt over your shoulder.

Hailey Gillard pictured with the fine for not wearing the seatbelt correctly. Source: Tiktok/ HaileyGillard1
Hailey Gillard was stunned that she was fined over the detail. Source: Tiktok/ HaileyGillard1

Not only was a fine issued to the driver but also four demerit points.

"It was a bit of a shock... As you can see in the photo... I still have my seatbelt on, but because my arm was over it , it is still a fine," she explained.

And while people encouraged her to appeal the fine, she accepted her fate, saying 'lesson learnt'.

The use of cameras to detect offences on the roads is on the rise, with Gold Coast council introducing vehicles with cameras installed that drive around the community.

"The technology means it is easier to identify illegal parking and issue infringements. They can just drive past and generate the fine," City of Gold Coast Councillor Mark Hammel explained.

One resident raged after one of the vehicles captured them parking perpendicular to the road instead of parallel. They were hit with a $179 fine.

New cameras prove divisive

Advocacy group the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) has heavily criticised the introduction of mobile phone and seatbelt cameras last year in Queensland, saying the increase in cameras appears to be a revenue raising exercise.

“It’s no coincidence that, at a time where our budget balance sheets are falling to pieces, state governments are finding new ways to shake down everyday Aussies out of hundreds of millions of dollars,” President Brian Marlow said.

The ATA explains the new cameras have software that allows them to capture footage through windscreens.

Close to 30,000 people were caught either not wearing their seatbelts or wearing it in correctly from the cameras' introduction in November to the end of May.

Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, defended the cameras saying residents had been given ample warning and stressed anyone doing the wrong thing will face the consequences.

He said it was "outrageous" the number of people being caught over a rule that has stood for half a century.

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