A driver has been fined $1,000 after a traffic camera accused her of talking on her phone – when she claims she was vaping.
Lillian Morrow was on the M1 Pacific motorway at Comera on the Gold Coast in August when her roadside camera, which uses artificial intelligence to identify motorists in violation of the rules, took a picture of her that was later used as evidence that she was using her mobile phone while driving.
The camera was reportedly a new “secret” camera that was designed to be difficult for drivers to detect.
She was fined $1,078.
But Morrow, 19, said she never used her phone and was happy to go to court to contest the punishment.
In a message on social media, she claimed the photo showed her vaping.
“It is quite clear that I hold my trusty vape device and my phone on the passenger seat,” she claimed in the post.
Ms Morrow, from Brisbane, said she chose to hear the case in court a month ago, but “hasn’t heard anything”.
The posted image looks blurry.
It shows the driver with one hand on the steering wheel and the other close to his face in a position that might indicate the driver is holding a mobile phone. But it is conceivable that he vape instead.
Vaping while driving is legal in Queensland as long as the driver is alone.
The Facebook post met with mixed reactions. Some have supported Ms. Moreau’s claim.
Someone said, “The fact that people can’t agree on what it actually is is sufficient evidence in itself to be discarded.”
But others said the image indicated a person using a phone.
“Why does the power cord seem to go over your seatbelt and into your vape device, and why is your vape placed on the left side of your face?”
Ms. Morrow said it was not a telephone cord dangling from the phone but was actually one of the cords of her hoodie.
The Postman It reported that the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) had rejected Ms Morrow’s assertion and said the cameras had state-of-the-art technology to spot irregularities.
“The camera’s images were filtered by artificial intelligence software,” a TMR spokesperson said in a statement.
“If a possible crime is detected, the image is reviewed by a certified TMR officer to determine if a crime was committed.”
This article was originally published as Queensland motorist claims she was fined after ‘secret’ camera caught her doing something completely legal