Enforcement of road and traffic laws

In  Queensland, police officers, Department of Transport and Main Roads transport  inspectors, and local council officers enforce road and traffic laws. If you  break road rules repeatedly, you risk having your car impounded or confiscated.

Enforcement  methods

Speeding  laws

Speeding  plays a key role in the severity of many of the crashes on our roads. We  strongly enforce speeding laws to help reduce injuries and avoid deaths.
We  enforce speeding laws using:

If  you are caught speeding—by any enforcement method—you will be given a fine and  demerit points will be recorded on your traffic history. Depending on how much  you are over the speed limit, you could face other punishments such as having  your licence suspended.

On-road  police

If  at any time a police officer, in a marked or unmarked car, detects you driving above  the speed limit they can pull you over and issue you with a fine and record  demerit points on your traffic history.

Parking  laws

Enforcing  parking laws ensures our roads and streets stay organised and safe for all road  users and pedestrians.

Your  local council parking officers and police officers enforce parking and permit  laws by monitoring roads in and around:

  • central business districts (CBD)
  • residential roads and streets
  • universities.

If  your vehicle is found parked incorrectly, or somewhere where it should not be,  you will get a fine. In some cases, your vehicle will be towed in addition to a  fine.

Learn about parking  rules and fines.

Drink and drug driving laws

Driving  under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be one of the major  killers on our roads. We enforce drink and drug driving laws using:

  • breath tests—to check your alcohol  level
  • saliva tests—to check for illegal  drugs.

Breath  and saliva tests can be random or targeted—if you are driving as if you might  be under the influence of something, police can pull you over to do a test.

If  a test shows you are drink or drug driving, the police officer will suspend  your licence for 24 hours and can impound or confiscate your car.  You will be issued a notice to appear in court where the Magistrate will issue  you a fine and record demerit points on your traffic history.

Learn  more about penalties  for drink driving and the  zero tolerance and dangers for drug  driving.

Mobile  phone laws

If  you are distracted by your phone (for example, by sending a text message) when  driving, you can be just as dangerous to pedestrians and other road users as a  drunk driver or hoon. If at any time a police officer (in or out of uniform, or  in a marked or unmarked car) sees you using a hand-held mobile phone in any way  while driving (even when you are stopped at traffic lights) they will pull you  over, give you a fine, and record demerit points on your traffic history.

Learn  about mobile  phone safety.

Seatbelt  laws

Not  wearing a seatbelt is one the main causes of road crash death. Around 20 people  die in Queensland each year because they are not wearing a seat belt when their  vehicle crashes. We enforce seatbelt laws to help reduce injuries and avoid  deaths.

If  at any time a police officer (in or out of uniform, or in a marked or unmarked  car) sees that you are not wearing a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle—they  will pull you over, give you a fine and record demerit points on your traffic  history. If a person 16 years or younger is seen not wearing a seatbelt, the  driver will get the fine and demerit points.

Traffic  laws

If  you drive on Queensland roads, you must know, and follow at all times, the:

Road  rules, and the signs and markings that communicate them, are extremely  important to keep our roads organised and safe.

We  enforce traffic laws using cameras and on road  police.

If  you are caught breaking a traffic law (for example, making a U-turn where you  are not permitted) you will be given a fine and demerit points may be recorded  on your traffic history.

Licence  and registration laws

Police  regularly check that driver licences and vehicle registrations are current—and  that you are driving the right type of vehicle, in the right conditions, for  your licence. Police will check your licence and registration if they pull you  over for:

  • a random breath test
  • a random saliva test
  • breaking a law.

Open  car or motorcycle licence

If  you are on your open licence and driving a car or motorcycle when a police  officer pulls you over—and you do not have your licence on you—the police  officer may give you 48 hours to go to a police station (nominated by the  police officer) and show your licence.

Learner,  P1/P2 and heavy vehicle licences

If  you are on your learner licence or P1/P2 licence, or driving a heavy vehicle  (for example, a heavy rigid, heavy combination or multi-combination vehicle),  you must carry your licence on you every time you drive. If a police officer  pulls you over and you cannot show your licence, they will fine you.

Expired  licence or registration

If a police officer pulls  you over and your licence is expired or incorrect for the vehicle you are  driving, or your vehicle registration has expired, they will fine you and  impound your vehicle for 7 days or confiscate it depending on how many offences  you have committed.