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Enforcement of road and traffic laws

In Queensland, road and traffic laws are enforced by police officers, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and local council. 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 when driving, like sending a text message, you can be just as dangerous to pedestrians and other road users as a drunk driver. If at any time a camera or a police officer identifies you using a mobile phone illegally while driving (even when you are stopped at traffic lights), you may receive a fine and have demerit points recorded on your traffic history.

We enforce mobile phone laws using:

  • on-road police
  • fixed cameras
  • portable cameras.

Learn about mobile phone rules.

Seatbelt laws

Not wearing a seatbelt is one the main causes of road crash death. Occupants not wearing a seatbelt are around 9 times more likely to be killed in a crash. 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.

We enforce seatbelt laws using:

  • on-road police
  • fixed cameras
  • portable cameras.

If at any time a camera or a police officer identifies you not wearing a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle, you may receive a fine and have demerit points recorded on your traffic history. If a passenger is identified not wearing a seatbelt, the driver will get a fine and demerit points.

Find more information about seatbelt rules.

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.