Mum fined more than £200 after pumping breast milk inside her car
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A mum says she was fined more than £200 for pumping breast milk inside her car while travelling home from a wedding.
Last year, Rianna, from Brisbane, had been sitting in the front passenger seat of the car while husband Stephen drove the family home - with little 11-month-old Louis sleeping in the back.
The 28-year-old mum pulled out her breast pump and unbuttoned her dress, as she was still breastfeeding three times a day and didn’t' get a chance to pump at the wedding.
“I thought the drive home would be the best time to do it because we weren’t getting home until around midnight and I was already nice and full,” she told Kidspot.
“If I waited until I got home, I would have had to stay awake another 30 minutes to get it done.”
However, a month later in May, her husband received an expiation notice in the mail for AUD $413 (£234) and three demerit points.
When he opened it up, Rianna recalled how he said to her in disbelief: “You’re kidding me.”
Initially, they thought it was a mistake, but it turned out traffic cameras on the Gold Coast’s Pacific Highway had picked up Rianna wearing a seat belt ‘incorrectly’ and captured the supposed offence in a crime.
However, she said she had simply moved the strap to sit below her breasts for a brief period as she attached and removed the pump.
“I had my dress unbuttoned - luckily I hadn’t exposed anything,” Rianna continued.
“I was either just about to or had just finished pumping both breasts. The seatbelt was on me normally the whole time I was actually pumping, so to have this happen was really shocking timing.”
She said he had always assumed that, if you were wearing a seatbelt, you would not be fined - not for ‘incorrectly wearing one’.
“Stephen was fine about it, but I was more disappointed because I couldn’t be the one taking the points even though I was the one responsible,” Rianna added.
According to the Queensland Government website, seatbelts must be worn with ‘the belt over your shoulder, running across your chest’ and ‘be buckled low on your hip’.
“Wearing a seatbelt any other way will result in a fine,” it warns.
Rianna doesn’t think a first-time offence like hers should lead to fines at all, saying she won’t be making the same mistake again.
She said: “There should be a warning letter to the owner of the vehicle, explaining what the passenger has done wrong and that if you are caught in future, then a fine will follow.
“As a passenger, you should be able to do things like this but they’ve made it too difficult this way. Nothing is easy for mums.”
Tyla has reached out to Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Road for comment.