The face mask mistake that could cost drivers $321

A driving indiscretion with your face mask will soon cost you $321 in Queensland.

The RACQ posted a warning on Facebook to drivers about the new penalty on Tuesday.

Many drivers are probably keeping face masks on hand given many states are currently experiencing lockdowns due to coronavirus outbreaks.

“A driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of the road, and traffic, ahead, behind and to each side of the driver and hanging a mask from your mirror can block out some of your vision,” it wrote.

“Note also that from 1 July 2021 this fine will increase to $321 to the increased value of a penalty unit.”

A face mask hangs from the rearview mirror of a car.
Hanging your face mask from your rearview mirror can lead to a hefty fine. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

The penalty for hanging your face mask from your rearview mirror is an increase of $10 from what it was earlier this year as it was previously a $311 fine. From July 1, which is tomorrow (Thursday), some states increase the value of their penalty units.

July 1 is also the start of the 2021-2022 financial year.

Penalty units determine how much a person is fined for breaking a certain law. In Queensland, a single penalty unit before July 1 this year was $133.45. However, after July 1 a single unit is worth $137.85.

As the RACQ pointed out, from tomorrow, for example, driving with faulty headlights in Queensland is a $137 fine which is one penalty unit. Fines are often rounded up or down.

Fines in other states

In Victoria, a penalty unit on July 1 will increase from $165.22 to $181.74. Last financial year, the fine for hanging a mask, or anything for that matter, from a rearview mirror was $248.

From Thursday, that fine will increase to $272 which is about 1.5 penalty units.

Fines and penalties are determined by each state except for South Australia which does not have penalty units. In NSW, each penalty unit is worth $110 – and its value won’t increase on July 1.

Currently, the fine for driving with anything hanging from your rearview mirror in NSW is $349 and three demerit points. On public holidays, it is a double demerit point penalty meaning drivers can cop six demerit points for it.

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