Corbell celebrates keeping awful drivers on the road

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SIMON Corbell has announced 3,000 people who would otherwise have lost their licences for unpaid fines have instead passed the liability back onto the Government, and through it the community.

“More than 3,000 vulnerable Canberrans have been able to keep their drivers licences since the introduction of Infringement Notice Management Plans last year,” Simon said.

“Prior to 24 May last year, there were very limited provisions to assist vulnerable people to manage outstanding motor vehicle infringement notices,” Mr Corbell said.

“If a motorist was unable to pay an infringement notice in full then a suspension would be imposed to a drivers licence, motor vehicle or right to drive until the infringement was paid.

“This was identified as a major impediment for vulnerable people, as the inability to retain a driver licence placed many at risk of job loss or financial insecurity.

“In response, the ACT government introduced the Infringement Plan Office, which allowed people who had outstanding motor vehicle infringement debts, to enter into Infringement Notice Management Plans to clear their debt.

“The plans allowed clients to pay infringement notice penalties by instalments, or discharge the infringement notice penalties by completing an approved community work or social development program, or in extreme circumstances, waiver of the infringement notice penalty.

Since the introduction of Infringement Notice Management Plans, $3,697,632 in infringements have been through the initiative and clients have made $976,140 in payments.

“Feedback received from those who have entered into plans has been very positive, with many appreciative of having flexible arrangements to pay their balance.

“The ACT government is committed to reducing red tape for the Canberra community by introducing a range of measure such as abolishing registration labels and offering registration and licence reminders via email.

“Introducing the option of payment through a plan is just another example of this commitment.”

We have no doubt those who have been able to wriggle out from their fines have given it excellent feedback.

The point remains that drivers who should be on the road rarely if ever attract fines and those who collect them often should be excluded from sharing our roads.

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5 Responses to “Corbell celebrates keeping awful drivers on the road”

  1. _p1_
    July 16, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    “….or discharge the infringement notice penalties by completing an approved community work or social development program….”
    What if they changed the current system so that there were no cash fines at all, but all infringements were paid through completing approved community work or social development programs? Although I imagine there would still be a subset of the community who would claim carer duties, illness, etc to get out of it…

    • John Griffiths
      John Griffiths
      July 16, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      My favourite lurk with community work at the moment is that if one is friends with a charity CEO one can get their community service set down as contributing professional advice.

      Which in turn leads to community service being logged for sitting down in the pub with said friend on a Friday night.

  2. John Griffiths
    John Griffiths
    July 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Thanks Katie,

    The issue as I see it is that driving is not a right, it should be treated as a privilege.

    It is quite simple to drive well and never acrue a fine.

    It’s somewhat undesirable that the wealthy can afford to get more fines, but they generally get the good stuff and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about that.

    • Clare
      July 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      Maybe try the Scandinavian system where fines are expressed as a percentage of income? (Preferably pre-tax!)

  3. Katie Fraser
    July 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    As a community lawyer who saw the need for these reforms, this is not about good v. bad drivers, but about changing an unfair system. Under the old system, two people with the same fines got treated differently: if you had money you kept driving, if you didn’t, you were off the road. The new system means that everyone has an equal opportunity to pay their fines and keep their licence.

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