Carolina, with her daughter, was fined for tooting her car horn in support of asylum seekers.
Carolina, with her daughter, was fined for tooting her car horn in support of asylum seekers.

Woman hit with $213 fine for tooting her horn

A Brisbane mum has been fined $213 for tooting her car horn in support of asylum seekers controversially detained at a Kangaroo Point motel.

Carolina, who asked for her last name not to be used, was texted the infringement notice about 3.45pm, 10 minutes after driving past the motel.

She believed one of approximately 50 police who attended a peaceful protest at the property last Sunday used her licence plate details to identify her.

It is an offence for someone in or on a vehicle to sound a bell, horn or warning device, except where permitted.

However, it is common practice motorists to toot for volunteers waving election placards at the side of the road, or to toot in support of roadside union or community protests.

Carolina said she would refuse to pay the fine, due by August 16, and vowed to fight her infringement in court.

 

Refugee protest at Central Hotel and Apartments, Kangaroo Point, on July 19. Picture: Richard Walker
Refugee protest at Central Hotel and Apartments, Kangaroo Point, on July 19. Picture: Richard Walker

 

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I'd heard stories of how the police were looking for any excuse to fine people who attend the Kangaroo Point detention centre, but this seems especially petty and ridiculous."

"I work during the week, so I've only been to a handful of the protests at Kangaroo Point.

"But I took my one-year-old daughter along on Sunday because I want the (detained) men and their families to know that many people disagree with the Government's policy of mandatory, indefinite internment.

"As we drove away, the police must have noted my number plate and looked me up in their database to text me the infringement notice for beeping my horn.

The Queensland Police service was contacted for comment.

Carolina, with her daughter, was fined for tooting her car horn in support of asylum seekers.
Carolina, with her daughter, was fined for tooting her car horn in support of asylum seekers.

"I shouldn't have to spend my Sunday afternoon protesting against human rights abuses, and I definitely shouldn't have been fined simply for attending a court-authorised peaceful assembly.''

Last Sundays gathering was legal but there have been multiple arrests at other protests.

Local Brisbane City Councillor, Jonathan Sri, was one of those previously arrested. Police later dropped the charges against him.

"This is an extremely concerning move by the Queensland police," Cr Sri said.

"The police have been going out of their way to harass residents and trample our fundamental right to freedom of assembly.

"Sending someone a fine just for beeping their horn is pathetic, contemptible behaviour, and shows that the Queensland police are more concerned about defending Serco (the motel security contractor) and the Australian Government than they are about protecting public safety."

"I expect the police will drop the fine after they review it, just like they've dropped many of the recent unjustified charges against other protesters.''

Queensland Police have confirmed a fine was issued and that they are reviewing the decision.

"The Officer In Charge of Morningside Police Station, where the issuing officer is stationed, has contacted the recipient to discuss the matter," a QPS spokesperson said

"The QPS can advise that the infringement notice is currently being reviewed, and the recipient will be advised in due course.

"The matter is on hold while the review is being conducted."

Organisers are planning another major protest on August 8, on the Story Bridge.

Originally published as Woman hit with $213 fine for tooting her horn



Man asleep at the wheel after 20-pint bender

Premium Content Man asleep at the wheel after 20-pint bender

The 41-year-old was found in his car after a Gladstone pub session.

MORNING REWIND: Top stories you may have missed

Premium Content MORNING REWIND: Top stories you may have missed

The biggest stories you may have missed yesterday, November 23.

Gladstone man with 13 DV convictions fronts court again

Premium Content Gladstone man with 13 DV convictions fronts court again

The 36-year-old was convicted of two more domestic violence offences.