An urgent review into Queensland’s phone and seatbelt camera system has been commissioned after it was revealed thousands of drivers copped fake fines or incorrectly lost their licence due to a major dud.
The fault in the state’s cutting-edge road camera system went undetected for two years, Transport Minister Mark Bailey revealed on Friday.
It resulted in more than 1800 drivers being impacted – some having double-demerit points incorrectly applied, while others had their licence suspended.
“The fault has resulted in drivers having double-demerit points incorrectly applied for a passenger seatbelt offence captured by the cameras between 1 November 2021 and 31 August 2023,” the state government has confirmed.
There are 121 impacted drivers who have their licence suspended and 632 who are serving good behaviour bonds.
More than 1000 drivers have already been punished due to the fault, including 505 people who served a suspension incorrectly and 236 people who served a good behaviour period.
Transport and Main Roads will contact all impacted drivers “in the coming days” to inform them.
The mistake “should never have happened” according to Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
“I am sorry to every person impacted by this. My department is receiving urgent legal advice on the swift reissuance of incorrectly suspended licences,” he said.
“For the remaining licence holders who have retained their licence but incorrectly lost some points, Transport and Main Roads will reverse the incorrectly issued double-demerit points.”
Drivers were “incorrectly” hit with the double points if they committed two or more seatbelt offences within 12 months and if one of those offences was detected on a camera where a passenger was not correctly wearing a seatbelt.
In Queensland, double-demerit points apply all year round and for “certain second or subsequent offences committed within one year of the previous offence”.
These include speeding offences more than 20km/h over the speed limit, mobile phone offences, motorcycle helmet offences and driver seatbelt offences but not for passenger seatbelt offences.
Drivers who have received suspensions or good behaviour periods are warned not to change their driving activity until they have received advice from Transport and Main Roads.
Suspended or disqualified drivers have been told not to drive until contacted.
Drivers who believe they have been impacted are encouraged to contact a dedicated hotline on 1800 740 786.