Driving certificate

I was slapped with a £600 fine abroad for a little-known driving law – make sure you don’t get caught

A HOLIDAY GUEST has been left horrified after he was slapped with a hefty £600 fine for breaking a little-known driving rule abroad.

The German national was visiting Queensland, Australia when he received a penalty notice for disobeying the crazy driving rule.

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The tourist’s passenger wore her seat belt under her arm, handing the driver a hefty fineCredit: My vehicle

He was arrested and penalized because his passenger was not wearing his seat belt correctly.

The woman was sleeping in the car and had placed the seat belt under her arm – but Australian motoring laws require it to be worn over your shoulder.

The desperate driver appealed to social media users for help with his dilemma, discussing whether to challenge it in court.

He wrote in a Facebook post: “Unfortunately I have been fined around $1000 (£600) because my passenger was wearing her seatbelt under her arm while sleeping.

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“I would like to check what legal options I have now and if I will have a chance in court.

“Has anyone had a similar situation or have a contact for free legal advice? Any help appreciated!!”

According to the Queensland Government website, there are only a few exceptions to the rules in exceptional circumstances.

This includes if you are the driver and are backing up, if you carry a seat belt exemption certificate, or if the vehicle was originally manufactured without a seat belt.

Motorists can receive hefty fines and points on their license if they or their passengers do not use the safety device correctly.

Down Under’s failure to wear a seatbelt penalty was recently increased by almost triple the previous amount to £600 and four points on July 1, 2022.

Social media users told the tourist he was unlikely to receive any leniency for the traffic violation.

One wrote, “You can’t get away with it. They take seat belts seriously here in every state. Your friend wasn’t wearing hers properly and there’s no way around it. that.”

Another said: ‘Don’t bother going to court as if you were found guilty, the fine is higher, plus court costs.’

A third chimed in: “You are responsible for your passengers. You are 100% responsible for the fine and there is no way you will get away with it.”

And a fourth added: ‘No way am I bending over and paying, fucking extortion. Fight it all the way. She was wearing her seatbelt.’

Other friendly users encouraged the German to make the passenger pay the fine, as it was “his fault”.

One said, “You could ask your passenger to pay half. That would be fair.”

Another commented: ‘Make your friend pay cause she was the one who caused the fine, or make it half cause you should have said something.’

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Queensland authorities recently launched a crackdown on the roads, after nearly 50,000 fines for cellphone use and seatbelt violations were handed out in just four months earlier this year.

Secret cameras have been installed across the state to catch rule breakers since last July.