Scorned seatbelt cameras crush family with three tickets in six months after failing to detect why boy was distraught in his family’s car: ‘Photos show him crying’
- Seatbelt cameras are in use in Queensland
- Young father hit with repeated fines after son pulled belt
- High-tech cameras are being implemented in other states.
A young father nearly lost his license after automated seatbelt cameras slapped him with multiple penalties when his autistic son became distraught when his car entered a tunnel.
Marty Smith, from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region, was driving with his 10-year-old son Sebastian, who has level 3 autism, when the camera blared on three separate occasions between June and November last year.
The boy’s mother, Rachel, said the family would be moving house in that period, which had increased Sebastian’s anxiety and that it would have been dangerous trying to fix his seatbelt while driving.
“He would go in the car for an hour and about the time we got to the tunnel, he would cry and be very upset,” Ms. Smith said. the sunday mail.
‘Obviously in the tunnel, you can’t stop. So we had to drive until we could safely get off the road.
In another case, a family was fined in Queensland after a parent held a child off their lap with a seatbelt around it (pictured)
Photos of him show him crying. You can still see the seatbelt on him, but he took it off because he’s very distressed and swaying.
The family obtained a medical waiver in September of last year, however it only applied to the third ticket and they were still being pursued by the first two.
In Queensland, the fine for failing or misusing a seatbelt is $1078 and four demerit points for each occurrence, which apply to the driver and any offending passenger over the age of 16.
Medical exemptions may be granted, but must be reapplied annually.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said he was “concerned” to learn of the family’s situation and that the three fines would not be applied after he was contacted by the newspaper last week.
He said his government would now seek to change the rules that allow permanent exemptions and retroactive exemptions for some people with disabilities.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey (pictured) said the family would get waivers for all three fines.
The family’s case was first raised in the Queensland Parliament by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Jarrod Bleijie, who said the Labor government was only acting now because the media had gotten involved.
The cameras, which use artificial intelligence to detect those who break seat belt rules, have been deployed in Queensland since November 2021 and have handed out tens of thousands of fines.
In 2020 similar mobile phone detection cameras were implemented in NSW. These were tested in November of last year to detect seat belt violations as well, although they have not yet been enforced.
The Victorian government announced it will roll out cameras for phones and seatbelts, with three up and running by mid-2023 after a two-year pilot programme.
Victorian authorities have approved some 2,000 locations across the state where mobile cameras can operate.
WA, SA and ACT are also moving to introduce the cameras, while Tasmania will test them later this year.
High-tech cameras are often mobile (pictured) and can be deployed in different areas
SEAT BELT FINES IN EVERY STATE AND TERRITORY
Queensland – $1078 and four demerit points
NSW – $298 and three demerit points
Victory – $370 and three demerit points
WA – $550 and four demerit points
SA – $381 and three demerit points
Tasmania – $350 and three demerit points
Northern Territory – $500 and three demerit points
ACT – $353 and three demerit points
In most states and territories, drivers and passengers are ticketed for passengers not wearing seat belts. In Queensland, demerit points are also applied to the driver for each non-compliant passenger.