Trio slapped with $1300 fines for 480km roadtrip
THREE Brisbane residents on a road trip to Roma had to fork out more than just petrol money for their drive back home.
Roma patrol inspector, Ray Vine said after they intercepted the vehicle in Roma last weekend, they issued the driver and two passengers with $1334 Covid-19 non compliance fines and told them to turn around and go back home.
When questioning the reason for non-essential travel which was more than 400km over the allowed 50km distance, they stated that "they just thought it was a good idea," and they were aware of the restrictions.
The trio were detected as part of the Sierra Pembo operation which involves increased monitoring of the Chief Health Officer's relaxation of recreational travel, through patrols and static interceptions.
"Our main aim is to educate people and make sure they have a good understanding of the directives in place," Insp Vine said.
"And people who are maliciously or deliberately defying the directives, they will be issued with infringements."
Insp Vine said they also now have the power to enforce social distancing, something that they were previously were unable to issue non compliance fines for.
"If we observed multiple people gathering at a park and it was brought to our attention that they weren't social distancing, we would talk to those people and ask them to practice it," he said.
"If they didn't comply, they would be subject to an infringement notice."
Insp Vine is asking people to apply common sense this weekend and if they arrive at a crowded area to reconsider attending.
"We want to reinforce that other then the ability to leave your home for recreational purposes, there really should be no differences," he said.
"If you are travelling within 50km to a fishing location and you arrive and it's crowded or there is a situation where you can't practice social distancing we are asking people to reconsider.
"We are asking people to continue doing the good work they are doing as we've been very pleased with what we've seen.
"We're all in together and certainly working very hard to keep our region Covid-19 free."