Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Livingstone council to fine beach drivers

People caught driving on Ritamada Beach will now be hit with a $287 fine, Livingstone Shire Council has announced.

The beach, located in Emu Park, is a designated bathing reserve and vehicle access is prohibited under Livingstone Shire Council Local Law.

Councillor, Andrea Friend, Portfolio Holder of Water, Waste Management and Environment, said Council had recently installed clear signage on Ritamada Road to advise drivers of the restricted use.

“The signs are appropriately positioned at two points along the road to educate drivers and give them adequate warning,” Cr Friend said.

“Recent surveillance of the beach detected that between 30 to 50 drivers are illegally accessing the beach each week.”

Under Local Law, vehicles are only permitted on bathing reserves or foreshores if the vehicle is launching, retrieving or servicing a vessel at a designated boat ramp.

Councillor Friend said some motorists were either deliberately ignoring or were not aware of the Local Laws.

“These laws are in place for very good reason. Vehicles on our beaches pose a significant risk to public safety and beach users,” Cr Friend said.

“Reckless driving has been witnessed on this beach with Queensland Police Service recently attending a rollover.

“These restrictions ensure the safety of pedestrians enjoying the beach and help protect delicate ocean front land and dune systems, as well as nesting turtles and shorebirds.

“Ultimately, we want people to be safe on the Capricorn Coast so Council has stepped up its push for beach safety and installed surveillance cameras at the beach access to monitor unauthorised vehicles.”

Drivers can expect fines of $287 if they disobey the local law.

Council says motorists wanting to enjoy the beach are permitted to drive on Farnborough Beach to the north of the Bangalee vehicle access.

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