I Got a Fine for Not Wearing a Seatbelt

I got pulled over in Westfield parking while trying to park and got a fine for not having a seat belt on! $400 and 3 points.

It was first time getting pulled over and getting fine on spot specially for such a dumb mistake TBH. As salty as I am ATM I spoke to few friends some say depending on officer they usually give warning for first time, is that true?

I was just trying to find a parking spot, it just hurt to pay $400 for a seatbelt and 3 points. Considering that I just lost my job as well :(
I took the ticket without arguing much and don't feel like disputing as would be a waste of a time but just curious to hear from you guys :(

Thanks

closed Comments

    • +1

      Thanks for capitalising the original post. People these days…

  • +1

    I was just trying to find a parking spot

    Surely with Westfield being so much emptier these days due to COVID-19 and being the size of a Westfield, a parking spot wouldn't have taken that long to find? You would have been wearing your seatbelt when you drove into the car park (I would hope); why weren't you wearing one when you got caught?

      • +3

        Being ignorant and selfish dont count as 'disability'

        • That is a nasty roast XD

  • +1

    I've had someone run into me in a parking lot, people drive like complete shit in parking lots.

    Why on earth someone would take their seatbelt off before stopping the car is beyond me though. What's wrong with pulling into the park, turning off the car and taking off your seatbelt? Are you taking it off while you're driving through the carpark or something?

    Lesson learned, you're not getting off from it, just pay the fine.

  • +3

    Must be no other road offences being committed that the rozzers have resorted to following people in westfields for minor traffic offences. Bit harsh, try and fight it since you have the time off anyway. Surely they can’t argue someone going 5kph with belt off when reversing is the same danger as going highway speed and not wearing.

    • He wasn't reversing.

      • +1

        Doesn’t say he’s wasn’t, all he said was “while trying to park”. Unless OP is so useless at driving forward that they need to take belts off the only logical other direction that a car can go, and where you might want to allow yourself extra movement, is in reverse.
        And my point still stands that it is totally unreasonable to be fined while pulling into a parking spot in a shopping centre.

  • +1

    If you were going in reverse, it is LEGAL to take off your seat belt.

    • OP was driving around the shopping center looking for a carpark, not legal.

      • +1

        It actually says while trying to park which one would assume is not driving around, but reversing into a park if they needed to shift themselves for a better view.

        • It actually says while trying to park

          Keep reading OP says

          I was just trying to find a parking spot, it just hurt to pay $400

          So 'looking' for one, as in hasn't found one to park in yet.

          one would assume is not driving around

          Nope, but one can assume driving around looking without a seatbelt.

          but reversing into a park if they needed to shift themselves for a better view.

          I'm pretty sure the police are aware of the law that you don't need to wear a seatbelt while reversing.

          • -2

            @JimmyF: Whatever your thoughts in driving around vs trying to park, the punishment does not fit the crime.

            • +1

              @DisabledUser180743:

              Whatever your thoughts in driving around vs trying to park

              My thoughts don't matter, its what the LAW says, and as the OP said so themselves in another reply being

              when you get to parking zone when do you take of your seat-belt?
              i do it and always been whenever i get there in 5KM zone just a habit

              They have a bad habit of removing the seat belt when they get to a carpark, so the OP was driving around without a seatbelt.

              the punishment does not fit the crime.

              Yes it does, OP clearly had been driving around looking for a carpark without a seat belt.

              OP needs to pay the fine and LEARN A LESSON to break THEIR bad habit.

  • +1

    Had a friend get fined for not having headlights on during the night, really dangerous stuff. She just forgot, went to court and just said it was her first fine, she's not a reckless driver etc etc and she was let off the hook

  • +3

    depending on officer they usually give warning for first time, is that true?

    Its true, depending on the officer some will give you a warning, yours didn't, there is no 'law' here, its up to the officer. I'm guessing yours didn't because of this

    I took the ticket without arguing much

    arguing at all, will mean goodbye to getting a warning.

    I was just trying to find a parking spot

    Regardless, you had been in forward travel and as such need to wear a seatbelt.

    The question is, why did you even have your seatbelt off in the first place? As you haven't found a car park, did you drive all the there without a seatbelt on? Why would you take it off when you arrived before finding a car park?

    don't feel like disputing as would be a waste of a time

    Wise move.

  • You should be able to ask for a payment plan, in these circumstances especially losing your job should get you that. Learn your lesson and cop the fine, sucks I know.

    • i didnt learn anything from this lesson apart from to take out the seatbelt only when fully parked in P with handbrake.

      • +20

        That is the lesson.

        • -15

          BS lesson, i got heaps of things going on atm like most other ppl and taking out seatbelt 10 seconds later or earlier aint one of the 99, if they want refund they can go on fine others with more reasonble excuses, if it was speeding fine yea I deserver it but this…

          • +1

            @newbiesh: "Like most other ppl" who are spending 95% of their time isolated at home? Yeah things are real hectic, who has time to care about their safety…

          • +5

            @newbiesh: Honestly mate, if you wanted us to sympathise and validate what you did was okay, I'm not sure why you posted. If it's not that big of a deal to keep your seatbelt on then why complain when you didn't and got caught? You know these laws exist for a reason, generally around safety.

            I sympathise with your situation as it does suck, but you're gonna have to deal with it unfortunately.

            • -3

              @kanmen: just pissed tbh, if it was a month ago or two wouldnt give a damn and pay it, it just pissing me off, i got fined before for speeding and paid them instantly without thinking much, this one is different.

          • @newbiesh: If you've got so many things in your mind well now you don't have to worry about taking off your seatbelt while still driving. An unnecessary and complicated act. Feel free to just focus on driving, which I'm sure is a precipice activity for you anyway.

          • @newbiesh: If your so pissed go to court and fight it. If you lose you will pay court costs & the fine. Or pay fine and move on. Simple.

      • +1

        i didnt learn anything from this lesson apart from to take out the seatbelt only when fully parked in P with handbrake.

        What a load of crap, why don't you tell us how it really happened?

        You hadn't found a carpark, but yet somehow your seatbelt was 'off' while you had been driving around looking for one.

        and taking out seatbelt 10 seconds later

        So don't pull this 10 second crap.

        • -2

          when you get to parking zone when do you take of your seat-belt?
          i do it and always been whenever i get there in 5KM zone just a habit sometimes it also helps me reach the parking tickets in enternce, i couldve parked in disabilty zone just in front drove few mins then cops got me like el chapo

          • +5

            @newbiesh:

            when you get to parking zone when do you take of your seat-belt?

            When I’ve parked my car

            it also helps me reach the parking tickets in enternce

            I always put my seatbelt back on in the rare instance that I can’t reach the ticket machine … but doesn’t the Westfield you went to have ticketless parking yet?

            • @kerfuffle: its ticketless 2 mins away from me like i said as a habit of doing it.

          • +3

            @newbiesh:

            when you get to parking zone when do you take of your seat-belt?

            Nope, as the law says you are only allowed to remove your seatbelt once parked or while REVERSING only.

            All other times a seatbelt is required. So no, driving around a 5km zone looking for a carpark like you had been doing, isn't a valid reason to remove your seatbelt early.

            FYI my seat belt goes on as soon as I get in the car and doesn't come off until I'm exiting the car, its on even while reversing.

            i do it and always been whenever i get there in 5KM zone just a habit

            Well that's a bad habit, you should stop it and be thankful you have only been fined once in your life considering the countless times you have broken the law :)

            it also helps me reach the parking tickets in enternce

            What tickets? All the shopping centers are ticketless.

            • @JimmyF:

              All the shopping centers are ticketless.

              Not in my area but they aren’t Westfield/Stockland/pay and display types

              • @kerfuffle:

                Not in my area but they aren’t Westfield/Stockland/pay and display types

                Ok, let me rephrase that then, all Westfield ones are ticketless.

                • +1

                  @JimmyF:

                  Ok, let me rephrase that then, all Westfield ones are ticketless

                  (Now they do 'cause it's free parking at the moment due to COVID-19 but normally) Westfield Burwood and Hornsby don't have ticketless parking; I just logged into my Westfield account to check

          • +3

            @newbiesh: I take it off when the car is in park. You have a strange and bad habit, lesson learnt and a fine deserved.

          • +2

            @newbiesh:

            sometimes it also helps me reach the parking tickets in enternce

            Learn to drive close enough to the ticket machine without needing to take off your seatbelt.

            Unless you have Tyrannosaurus arms, then you could consider investing in a grabber of some sort eg https://www.ebay.com.au/c/22024873288

          • @newbiesh: When I've turned the car off. I've got better things to do while driving than fiddle with my belt.

          • +2

            @newbiesh: "i couldve parked in disabilty zone…"

            You've said that a couple of times, as though we should be impressed that you did the right thing there.

            NOT parking in a disabled spot doesn't make you an upstanding guy. If you HAD parked in one (without a permit) that would just make you an even bigger dick. And copped you another fine.

  • Crap happens. Hopefully you've learned your lesson.

      • +5

        what lesson

        To put your seatbelt on, and to leave your seatbelt on until you arrive AND park.

        • +2

          I think he needs a reading and comprehension lesson too so he can see what he was actually fined for …

          • +4

            @newbiesh: Most responsible drivers have 0 fines during their time on L's and P's.

            • @Aneurism: well in my defence i was diriving my parents car which was powerful than my old lancer so the push i did to get to 60km on lancer was equal to the push i required to get to 100km on theirs

              • +1

                @newbiesh: How the hell is that a defence? No wonder you got those speeding fines.

        • +4

          Something tells me they don't, but should have. Typical "rules don't apply to me because nothing has ever happened" attitude, too dumb to realize it only takes one accident to end a life.

  • +2

    Just learn to take off your seat belt when the car is stationary and you have turned off the engine. It sounds simple.

  • I thought if you are going under 25kmh (or reversing) that you didn't have to wear it. I always do though because it just feels wrong to sit in a car without it on, even when parked.

    • -2

      thought if you are going under 25kmh (or reversing) that you didn't have to wear it

      You thought wrong, a seatbelt is needed for any forward movement, regardless of speed.

      You are correct for the reversing part though.

    • +2

      Only for specific occupations. From the VicRoads website -

      “a person is engaged in door to door delivery, collection of goods or collection of waste or garbage providing the vehicle's speed does not exceed 25 km/h”

      • +1

        Yep that's what I was thinking of. I remember it from back when I delivered phone books 30 something years ago.

      • Only for specific occupations. From the VicRoads website -

        “a person is engaged in door to door delivery, collection of goods or collection of waste or garbage providing the vehicle's speed does not exceed 25 km/h”

        All things the OP wasn't doing, that 'rule' is in place for commercial usage, not private users like the OP.

        Yep that's what I was thinking of. I remember it from back when I delivered phone books 30 something years ago.

        and all things that don't apply to the OP, so as I said, no such thing applies for the OPs case.

        • I never once said it applied to the OP, I was replying to Mechz comment about the 25km/h rule and saying where that specific rule applied.

          Your comment of “a seatbelt is needed for any forward movement” is clearly wrong, regardless of whether or not it applies to the OP in this case.

  • +3

    what was police doing in westfield parking ! are seriously checking vehicles or your bad luck that they were driving behind you and you parked into their spot :)

    • Maybe they were attending to yet another irate customer gone loco in Coles/Woolies/Aldi or they were just grabbing lunch

  • +1

    Going forwards into a park without seatbelt on. Pay up son.

  • +3

    curious to hear from you guys

    argues with everyone

    • +1

      Shoulda been 'I need everyone to tell me I'm right'

  • -1

    I rarely wear a seat belt when I'm alone in my vehicle. Sometimes I might put it on when I go on the motorway. Been doing so for decades.

    I've had more strange things like the cops being called on me while waiting to meet a friend after work, literally waiting somewhere minding my own business. Another time I parked my car under the shade of a tree on the side of a road to get out and stretch my aching lower back and someone called the cops on me then too.

    People are hilarious. They're the same people panic buying and buying several years worth of toilet paper, I'm convinced.

    • +1

      WHO LET THE DOGS OUT, WHO WHO, WHO, WHO???

      Lots of paranoid people around. Very little trust in society these days as children are bought up now distrusting the world by their parents. It's a real thing now. People are taught to fear the world, cause that 0.5% of people are dicks.

    • +1

      I rarely wear a seat belt when I'm alone in my vehicle.

      For what valid reason?

      • +1

        Well he hasn't died yet so obviously seatbelts aren't necessary.

        • Irrelevant.

          But what difference does it make if he's alone or with people?

          • +3

            @John Kimble: Well during a car crash anything not bolted down becomes a projectile. My guess would be that he doesn't want to be responsible for someone else's death because he goes bouncing around the inside of a car during a crash.

            This is all just speculation and no one could truly understand the mind of a moron.

            • @Yawhae: You got it.

              Got to give the police credit where it's due. One time I was stopped on discretion by an officer who thought maybe I was doing a few km more than the posted 40km/h limit due to road surfacing alterations, but when he came upside and saw me with a pretty thing sitting beside, he quickly said you're alright mate, and told me to have a good afternoon.

        • Well he hasn't died yet so obviously seatbelts aren't necessary

          Despite Bamboozle not having actually ending his seatbelt for its intended purpose he also hasn’t found out about its other purpose - fine avoidance.

          It’s a bit like a bicycle helmet, mostly it’s a fine avoiding device, but on that rare occasion it will actually prevent some injuries.

  • +2

    Can you get a fine in a privately owned property? If I have 100ha land, and driving my car inside without seatbelt on, can a cop just barge in and legally issue a fine?

    • I was thinking the same thing, if you're not on a public road is it an offence?

    • I believe the defining point in the law is that if the private area is open to the public then the road rules apply.

      I'm also not a lawyer but there may be other circumstances where they apply even if the area isn't open to the public.

      The question would be, can farmer Joe operate a unregisted or registered car, while drunk and has no seatbelt on whilst driving around his property?

      • See if you can argue you were not on a road. Or look to see where says road laws can be enforced on private property. If you can be bothered or afford to you can ask a lawyer.

        • I've looked up a little and it pretty much states if privately owned land is open to the public then road rules apply.

          This applies to car parks, camping areas, 4WD tracks ect..

  • +1

    I don't quite understand how it happened.

    So you took your seatbelt off cause you were parking?

    You were driving down to the mall with your seat belt on, then when you pulled into Westfield, you felt you had to take your seat belt off before finding a park?

    Why would you need to do that?

  • Honestly ozbargain is not the place to go if you want to feel better

    • only if you're not OP

  • OP, You should consider having this penalty heard in court. A magistrate may be sensible to your condition under the current climate. Bring tissues and perhaps sob a bit for effect.

  • Profits are obviously down.

    • There are fewer drivers on the roads so less revenue. Time to hit the shopping centre parking lots.

  • -1

    I sympathize with you but you should have apologized on the spot for your wrong doings regardless of how petty you think the crime is and hope to be let off then. It's an uphill battle now if you do wish to speak out in court. You can try and maybe your demerit points may be waived. You never know. You must have been really unlucky as it's so hard to spot if someone's is wearing a belt or not. On the bright side you must have been really lucky else where. Just learn your lesson and move on.

  • +4

    I’ve been driving for twenty years and never needed to take my seat belt off to park. I think you should stop this bad habit. The police have given you a fine to stop you doing the wrong thing. Pay the fine then try to learn from it by changing your bad behaviour. Many people get high fines for small offences. The purpose of them is try to and change behaviour. I was given a high fine because I turned on amber and it went red for 1 second. You know what, I won’t do that again. Stop complaining and Be a grown up and take it on the chin.

  • Pay the fine and move on. I know what you’re talking about taking off the seat belts when parking.. When my parents in laws were visiting, I noticed this habit among them too. Not that they were driving but they were passengers. Whenever we enter parking lot, seat belts were coming off. I had to kindly ask them few times not to do that until they got used to it. Old habits die hard.

  • I just wonder whether the police have authority to enforce road rules in a private car park?

    Could I get a fine for speeding on a racetrack?

  • +2

    Get a copy of that part of the Police act. My understanding is that the laws only cover gazzetted road reserves. You are not required to wear a seatbelt outside the road reserve. You were in a public Carpark (private land). Furthermore, my understanding is also that the same applies to speed limit signs is public carparks, obviously courtesy and common sense applies. We are talking about the Police act not common law!

    • -2

      thanks just what i wanted to hear

      • Perhaps you should read the link Wallyt99 provided -

        I’m sorry officer, this is private land. The road rules don’t apply!

        As a Police Beat Officer I hear this a lot. Some drivers are under the impression that because a shopping centre is private land that road rules don’t apply when driving in a car park. So, the question is: is a shopping centre car park a road?

        Well the answer is yes.

        A road is an area that is open to or used by the public and is developed for, or is used for, the driving or riding of motor vehicles, whether on payment or not. The road rules do apply in car parks and they are enforced by police.

        Shopping centres are pedestrian and motor vehicle rich environments, and people do unpredictable things for which you, as a driver, need your full attention focused on the road. So the next time you need to take that urgent phone call whilst driving through the shopping centre, remember that you just happen to be driving through a car park with plenty of convenient places to stop and park!

  • No one on the roads, how else are they going to get money?

  • +2

    I wonder if OP was seen driving on the street without his/her seatbelt and was followed into the Carpark to hand him/her the fine.

  • (not sure what state you are in, but this applies to Vic) were you reversing into the parking spot? if so, the law covers you. you are allowed to remove your seatbelt to reverse.

    • They’re in Queensland and they weren’t reversing

      • k.. OP - cop the fine. learn a lesson.

  • This is the stupidest topic of the day. You can't be that crap a driver that you need to take your seat belt off before you actually park lmao.

  • +1

    guys am taking them to court, i was gonna pay but reading most comments im taking them to court.

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