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A Brisbane woman says she was shocked to receive a $1,245 fine for allegedly speeding at nearly double the limit because it was not her vehicle that was caught on camera.
Jacinta Hincks has told ABC Radio Brisbane that she suspects someone using duplicated registration plates led to her receiving the infringement notice for speeding at 110 kilometres per hour in a 60kph zone.
A Transport and Main Roads (TMR) spokesperson said if vehicles had fake number plates, the wrong person could be investigated and the offender might be more difficult to track down.
"Fake plates can be a clone of a real plate, and that car might then be involved in offences such as speeding or more serious criminal behaviour," the spokesperson said.
They said people whose plates had been cloned might not know anything about it until a fine arrived in the mail.
'Not something you check'
Ms Hincks said she was more than a little surprised when she saw the infringement notice and realised the vehicle captured on camera had the same number plate as her car.
"I called PoliceLink virtually straight away because the fine itself, the amount is astronomical," she said.
"Obviously I was quite concerned — I went to check if someone had taken my number plates because it's not something you think to check every time you get in your car.
"I have number plates on my car, but the police said to me this is something that's pretty common now — thieves are getting crafty."
One letter slightly off
Ms Hincks said she was concerned that someone had been to her house to take a photo of her number plates.
"Police said that's more than likely what's happened and that they had somehow managed to duplicate it with reflective vinyl to make it look like a number plate," she said.
"Everything was the same — the only thing that looks a little different is that one of the letters looks a little bit off, but other than that it's an absolute perfect match."
Ms Hincks must now keep a copy of the report number to show police if she is pulled over because her registration was flagged in the system after the speeding incident.
Penalties for fake plates
The TMR spokesperson said if people suspected their number plates had been cloned, they should immediately contact police.
"This enables QPS to track the practice of cloning number plates and target enforcement," they said.
"Transport and Main Roads can issue a free replacement number plate from the standard number plate range while any cloned plate is investigated."
The spokesperson said the fine for having a fake number plate on your car or in your possession was $320.
The maximum penalty for people who produce fake plates was more than $5,000.