A string of social network reports have accused the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads of introducing new traffic penalties for the tiniest of infringements. Some of the "crimes" that may result in hefty fines include tooting your car horn and failing to keep a hand on the steering wheel while stopped at red lights. But are these reports actually legitimate, or is everyone being taken for a ride? The answer might surprise you.
Parking ticket picture from Shutterstock
The below image recently popped up on my Facebook page after being shared by an irate friend. Supposedly left on the window of a Queensland motorist, the notice provides a refresher of traffic laws, including some sneaky new additions that have been highlighted in red:
This has caused a fair amount of outrage in social media circles, with many people accusing the state government of shameless revenue raising. The 'horn tooting' fine has been especially seized upon by angry Facebook posters. In the words of my friend: "WTF! Is this horn thing legit???"
Well, it turns out that the above flyer was not issued by any government agency. As reported in The Fraser Coast Chronicle last year, the shared image contains "inaccuracies and inconsistencies" and may be the work of hoaxers.
However, this doesn't mean that the information contained in the photo is completely bogus. Many of the listed infringements refer to existing traffic laws -- including the horn tooting one. Indeed, 'illegal use of a warning device' can actually result in a stiffer penalty than the cited $66; you can even lose points off your licence in some states.
This is yet another example of why you can't believe everything you see on Twitter or Facebook. By the same token, sometimes a lie can contain a kernel of truth -- so it pays to do your research.