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A traffic camera photo of a driver using the passenger seat belt lock

Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey says he is “incredibly disturbed” by traffic cameras picking up multiple instances of children and infants being put at risk by unsafe seatbelt use.

Key points:

  • Queensland’s transport minister has released photos of drivers not using seatbelts safely
  • Photos include children and infants not properly restrained in a vehicle
  • Nearly 29,000 people have been fined for incorrect seatbelt use in the past six months

This week the state’s transport department released figures showing more than 28,779 seatbelt infringements had been picked up by new high-tech cameras in only six months of operations.

From July 1, the fine for seatbelt offences will increase to $1,078 and four demerit points.

But while some drivers complained they had been wearing a seatbelt when fined, Mr Bailey said the cameras clearly showed multiple instances of people either not wearing a one at all, or wearing it incorrectly.

A child sits in a front passenger seat using a phone with the seatbelt over their head

Transport Minister Mark Bailey says he is “incredibly disturbed” by the risks to children of unsafe seatbelt use.(Supplied: Transport and Main Roads)

“We are now putting out some images of the variations of unsafe seatbelt wearing we are seeing across Queensland, after instances of people claiming they were wrongly fined,” Mr Bailey said.

“The most common issue is people wearing the top part of the seatbelt under their arm. Anyone wearing their seatbelt this way in a crash will be left with significant injuries. It’s not how a seatbelt is designed to be worn.

An aerial black and white photo of a person wearing their seatbelt incorrectly.

Drivers being pinged with their seatbelt under their arm has been common, Transport Minister Mark Bailey says.(Supplied: Transport and Main Roads)

‘Terrible consequences’ in a crash

The photos snapped by the new traffic cameras show both drivers and passengers doing the wrong thing, or children not restrained safely.

In one photo, a small child sits in the front passenger seat with the seatbelt close to its neck.

In another, a car passenger holds an infant with the baby’s legs tucked under the seatbelt.

A black and white camera photo of a baby being held by a passenger in a car

An infant is held unrestrained in a passenger’s lap in a photo released by Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads.(Supplied: Transport and Main Roads)

“I’m … incredibly disturbed by some of the ways in which children and toddlers have been wearing seatbelts as the passengers in cars,” Mr Bailey said.

“This is a problem identified by these new high-tech cameras and that’s why I’m urging all Queenslanders to educate themselves on how to properly wear a seatbelt, and make sure they are doing so.”

Seatbelts have been mandatory in Queensland for more than 50 years.

So far this year, 133 people have died on Queensland roads.

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