Anyone caught driving on Ritamada Beach, north of Emu Park, will now be hit with a $287 fine.
The beach is a designated bathing reserve and vehicle access is prohibited, but Livingstone Shire councillor Andrea Friend says hundreds of vehicles have been spotted driving along the sand each month.
“Recent surveillance of the beach detected that between 30 to 50 drivers are illegally accessing the beach each week.”
Livingstone Shire Council has now 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 says.
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 says some motorists are either deliberately ignoring or 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 says.
“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 from 14 September 2022.
Motorists wanting to enjoy the beach are permitted to drive on Farnborough Beach to the north of the Bangalee vehicle access.