A Brisbane woman plans to fight a hefty fine she received after being caught vaping on a mobile phone detection camera.
The 19-year-old said she was outraged after she was wrongly accused of using her mobile phone, resulting in a $1,078 fine and four demerit points.
“Quite clearly holding my trusty vape and my phone is on the passenger seat,” she wrote.
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“I elected for the matter to be heard in court almost a month ago, but haven’t heard anything.”
In Queensland, vaping (which is considered smoking) is illegal in a vehicle if someone aged 16 or under is present.
However, the woman states she was travelling alone at the time.
The post sparked a heated debate online with over 230 comments from other confused motorists.
“The fact that people on here can’t agree on what it actually is, is proof enough in itself it should be thrown out. No matter who has the burden of proof it certainly can’t be beyond reasonable doubt,” one woman said.
“I’ve heard you can still be fined for having your phone in the open it has to be like fully out of sight as it can still be a ‘distraction’,” another added.
“If you can’t convince people on Facebook with your lie/excuse, what chance do you think you’ll have in court? You did it, you got caught, own it,” someone else wrote.
The woman told 7NEWS.com.au she believes the camera system “needs a review”.
“We should not be found guilty as an offender without solid proof,” she said.
Transport and Main Roads Queensland (TMR) told 7NEWS.com.au more than 80,000 mobile phone and seatbelt infringement notices have been handed out in the Brisbane region over the past year.
“The cameras images are filtered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. If a possible offence is detected, the image is reviewed by an authorised TMR officer to determine if an offence has been committed,” a TMR spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
“Every person issued an infringement notice for a mobile phone or seatbelt offence, which comes with a penalty of $1078 and four demerit points, can have the matter heard in a magistrates court.”
Anyone who feels they have been incorrectly fined can view their images online at the TMR Online Services portal.
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