Paying off traffic fines?

By 3 July 2010 68

Why is it that every state in Australia has the same rule that if you have lost your license due to traffic fine defaults you can apply to make regular payments and you can have it back.

NSW for eg, if you have say $2000 owing in fines and you had lost your licence due to not having the money to pay these fines straight away, you can make a payment arrangement even if its only $5 per fortnight, so long as you stick to these payment arrangements after the 6th payment they will re-issue you with a licence so long as you stick to the arrangement and continue to make regular payments ( you miss one and you lose the chance and never get the same offer)

ACT how ever, if you have fines outstanding you MUST pay every cent of them before they will even think of giving it back to you. ?????

WHY cant Canberra be the same as the rest of Australia ?

I personally have lost my license for fine default due to my stupid behavior in my early teens, i had been charged for burn outs, speeding etc i had a total of $2500 in fines and paid almost all of it off, i had $5 owing still so naturally asumed that i’d drive to the local shop front, pay my $5 and drive home legit.

How ever, unfortunately i had gotten 5 doors down the road and was pulled over by a police officer that recognised me and pulled me over, i was charged for no licence, disqualifed driver, turned out my car (that i had just brought) had fraud rego, so thats another charge, no rego, no third party and he also defected my car on account of a blinker light that was not working on my front guard.

I explained my story to the officer and stated that it had taken me almost 5 months to pay the last 2500k and tried to reason with him, how ever he doing his job i failed at this attempt.

due to the anger and my rebellous teens i refused to make more payments and drove my self to and from work with out a licence.

Naturally i was pulled over for RBTs etc and i would get another fine for driving unlicenced, Note i have never been stupid enough to drink drive, never been in a car accident, never been in a chase, always co-operated with the law

its now 11 years later and i am up to a shameful $16,000 in fines.

I am not able to get a loan to pay this amount and the only option i have is to make payments when and of what ever amount i can to the ACT shopfront. In doing this i estimate at least 3 years before i can pay it off completely.

I am now 29 and regret the stupid things i had done in the past but its a fact of too little too late.

I am a single father of 4 and finding it extreamly hard to manage with out being able to have access to a car.

Oh and i am unable to get a work license UNLESS i have been charged for driving under the influence … why do drink drivers get the chance to get their right to drive back but that dosen’t stand for the rest of us?

What other options are there ? Who can i talk to? there has to be another way to get this sorted out?

I know alot of readers out there are saying “its your own fault, you should have paid your fines, you shouldn’t have done the wrong thing” i agree, i was young and naive and no had no one to tell me otherwise.

I accept responsibilty for the things i have done wrong, i am willing to pay these fines, but why cant i have a payment arrangement just like every other state in Australia?

Does the Government not realise how many people would come forward and happily pay off there fines if there was a payment scheme in ACT like this ??

Remember, i personally owe $16000.00 imagine if every unlicenced person in ACT went on this plan, no longer would there be so many unlicence drivers on the road but it would put a hell of a lot more money back into the ACT Government.


Confused and Frustrated,

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68 Responses to
Paying off traffic fines?
buzz819 10:18 am
03 Jul 10

Well you see the problem is, they’d make that agreement and people still wouldn’t pay it off, then the government has given them a licence on false pretenses.

Your story is not uncommon – Your just gonna have to crack down and pay off your fines.

Sorry, just the way it is.

Crime does have it’s punishment.

liability 10:26 am
03 Jul 10

Okay,just so that we understand exactly what the situation is, are the fines you are talking about Court imposed fines or infringement notices?

If they are unpaid infringement notices, for either traffic or parking offences, the ACT Motor Registry will suspend or cancel you licence and/or rego. This is also the practice in all other jurisdictions as far as I am aware. Your licence and/or rego will stay suspended until you pay the fines. I note what you are saying about other jurisdictions allowing you to make payment arrangements and allowing your licence back in the interim, but as you say, this is not the case in the ACT.

If they are Court imposed fines, that is a different matter. The Court will generally, particular for offences such as driving whilst suspended or disqualified, impose a fine and a period of disqualification from driving. These are two separate things, the disqualification period has nothing to do with you paying off the Court imposed fine. The disqualification period remains in force for the Court specified time irregardless of how quickly or slowly you pay the Court imposed fine. The Courts are usually pretty good at coming to payment arrangements for the fine if you ask them nicely.

$16,000 is an awful lot of money to have racked up in unpaid infringement notices. Given the information in your story I suspect that you might have been caught a few times driving whilst disqualified or suspended, which will normally result in you being charged or summonsed to appear in Court. Driving whilst suspended or disqualified is a much more serious offence than driving whilst unlicenced and will usually incur a much larger Court imposed fine.

If you can provide a bit more detail someone on here might be able to offers some useful advice. Exactly what is the current state of your licence? Has your licence just been suspended for non payment of infringement notices, or has it been suspended or disqualified by the Court?

indigoid 10:31 am
03 Jul 10

“but officer I was only breaking the law a little bit!”

Sounds like your life has been one long series of very, very poor decisions. What happened to learning from your mistakes? To be frank, I’m rather surprised that you haven’t earned a Darwin award yet.

Also, how is your being a single parent relevant, other than a lame sympathy grab?

arescarti42 10:51 am
03 Jul 10

Wow, what a story.

Kudos to you for having the fortitude to admit your mistakes and recognise that what you did was stupid.

vg 10:58 am
03 Jul 10

Dear OP

Can’t do the time….don’t do the crime.

Sympathy for you equals 0.

mutley 11:16 am
03 Jul 10

$16 grand? That’s a nice effort. I look forward to a couple of potholes being fixed by your payments.

Davo111 11:20 am
03 Jul 10

if you didnt break the law, it wouldnt be an issue.

just pay the fine, and you can have your license back

urchin 11:38 am
03 Jul 10

so you drove recklessly and racked up fines resulting in the loss of your license. then you drove without a license and racked up more fines. then you decided, screw it why should i have to play by the same rules as everyone else, i will just keep driving without a license and to hell with you all.

now you are in a deep pile of poo–and you are surprised at this? what part of this was not preventible? actions have consequences. suck it up.

get used to riding busses and bicycles.

and there is nothing dignified in hiding behind your kids when pleading for special treatment. if you want to teach your kids something, man up and take responsibility for your actions.

zig 12:18 pm
03 Jul 10

“always co-operated with the law”

lol hardly or you wouldn’t have racked up 16k in fines!

Move to another country and start a new life abiding by the law.

georgesgenitals 12:59 pm
03 Jul 10

Unfortunately you can’t just press reset when you’ve had enough. What you need to do is stop driving until you have the license, and pay off the fines.

Depending on how badly you believe you need the license, you might consider getting a personal loan, paying the fines, and the getting your license.

Postalgeek 1:00 pm
03 Jul 10

You accrued $16000 in fines which you can’t pay, and drove without license, and without TPI. If you had, through fault, seriously injured another person, you would’ve financially fucked up their life and that of their family as well as your own.

It’s a bit hard to find even a dreg of sympathy. Using a bus/bicycle means you’ll probably save $2000-$3000 a year in running costs. Put that in the piggybank.

harley 1:08 pm
03 Jul 10

We’re talking about voluntary taxation, again, right?

Cletus 3 2:17 pm
03 Jul 10

This story is hilarious and I don’t feel sorry for you in the slightest. You’re trying to make this a sob story about how you’re doing it so tough and you’ve always been good. You are obviously not going to do the right thing and forego your squandered privilege to drive, and instead you just want a quick fix that will result in no pain for yourself.

But I could give you some advice. If you’ve got only 16K of fines in 11 years, that’s only $1500 per year. Pretty good interest rate on a “loan” for 16K I would think. Pay off $3000/yr, and if your fine rate don’t go up significantly, then you’ll have it paid off in another 11 years.

Also, you’re a single father of 4 finding it extremely hard to manage? What, do you have to make their beds and take them to maccas every second weekend when you see them? What are their names? Jayden, Browdyn, Huntah, Dhakota, am I getting close?

Deckard 3:42 pm
03 Jul 10

Sounds like someone fishing to me.

If not, get a bike!!

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:18 pm
03 Jul 10

This story made me feel all warm inside. The system works!

liability 4:27 pm
03 Jul 10

Not the case actually, in regards to injuries you caused to someone else while driving an unregistered vehicle [which means that you have no Compulsory Third Party insurance - which covers you for injuries caused to other people].

The ACT, and other jurisdictions, have a fund that is referred to as the Nominal Defendant. The “innocent” injured party can actually claim against this fund if you were driving an unregistered vehicle [i.e. no CTP insurance], and then the Nominal Defendant will try to recover the monies that they have paid out from you, the driver of the unregistered vehicle.

It happens all the time, quite a few people in Canberra have copped bills from the Nominal Defendant for very large amounts, some well over $1 million, for CTP claims that the Nominal Defendant has paid out. Most of them are what you could call “low lifes” and will either declare bankruptcy or simply “shoot through”.

Postalgeek said :

You accrued $16000 in fines which you can’t pay, and drove without license, and without TPI. If you had, through fault, seriously injured another person, you would’ve financially fucked up their life and that of their family as well as your own.

It’s a bit hard to find even a dreg of sympathy. Using a bus/bicycle means you’ll probably save $2000-$3000 a year in running costs. Put that in the piggybank.

dvaey 4:41 pm
03 Jul 10

Maybe the real question should be how did you rack up 16k in fines, and NOT end up in jail? Sounds like a benefit of living in the ACT, even if you cant cheat the system and get a licence while doing your time, at least be happy youre not incarcerated for being such a danger on the roads, and obviously having zero respect for road rules.

Felix the Cat 5:06 pm
03 Jul 10

Can you move to another state (move to Queanbeyan?) and apply for a licence there.

ProudTenant 5:13 pm
03 Jul 10

Had to take a second look. Thought the OP username was Doofus.

Why didn’t you stop breaking the law? Is that a dumb question?

Wow. And I thought the $157 I copped for going 8 km over the limit last month was a lot.

dvaey – how the hell are ya? ;) Hey. You don’t even go to jail here in the ACT for stabbing someone 52 times, so, to hope for jail-time for traffic fines is plain ridiculous. Tsk.

Tetranitrate 5:50 pm
03 Jul 10

Err, actually it’s worth noting that your license can be canceled for not paying *parking* fines, the OP wasn’t necessarily speeding or driving dangerously.

Personally I find it a little concerning that the state acts as a debt collector for private entities, that is the owners of the parking station or surface parking. Why can’t it just be dealt with through small claims or magistrates court like any other debt? The government doesn’t butt in to help credit card companies or banks by holding peoples licenses over their heads.

CanberraCreative 6:12 pm
03 Jul 10

If you have so many infringements that you need a payment plan to pay them off, you should probably consider public transport.
You would need to be caught speeding low range over 80 times or parked illegally over 200 times.

Sorry mate but plenty of Canberran’s do not drive, either because they choose not to or can’t afford to. They hold down jobs and manage to not break the law. You f**ked up, live with it.

Anna Key 6:30 pm
03 Jul 10

Can’t you exchange it in return for a week in the AMC

ProudTenant said :

Had to take a second look. Thought the OP username was Doofus.

Why didn’t you stop breaking the law? Is that a dumb question?

Wow. And I thought the $157 I copped for going 8 km over the limit last month was a lot.

That’s very judgemental of you PT…

ProudTenant 6:54 pm
03 Jul 10

Anna Key said :

That’s very judgemental of you PT…

AK – we are in THIS thread now. Get over it. If you can’t stay OT, then why post?

So then, you don’t think that racking up $16,000 worth of fines is doofus-like behaviour AK?

miz 7:25 pm
03 Jul 10

I think Liability gave you a very big hint – if I’m not mistaken, if you were to declare bankruptcy, the debt would go away. Worth considering, given your circumstances.

buzz819 7:28 pm
03 Jul 10

Anna Key said :

Can’t you exchange it in return for a week in the AMC

ProudTenant said :

Had to take a second look. Thought the OP username was Doofus.

Why didn’t you stop breaking the law? Is that a dumb question?

Wow. And I thought the $157 I copped for going 8 km over the limit last month was a lot.

That’s very judgemental of you PT…

I think after a while it will turn into a commitment warrant, at $100 a day, so that would be 160 days in remand…. Easy way to pay it off, if you don’t want a job or a home to come back to..

screaming banshee 9:13 pm
03 Jul 10

Please sir, can I have an easy way out.

So now you’re a 29 year old adult and last week you were a 28 year old child.

Now that you’re a grown-up, start acting like one. If its going to be 3 years until you can lawfully drive again then sell your car, this might reduce the payment time.

No sympathy here, and perhaps take the time to explain to your kids why daddy doesn’t have a car and maybe you can gift them with the common sense apparently devoid from your genetics.

thy_dungeonman 9:25 pm
03 Jul 10

Ok unless this is a troll which is seriously looks like here is my comment:

Speeding and burn outs are forms of dangerous driving, this isn’t just some parking fine, these fines and rules exist for a reason, I’m confused as to why you feel so entitled to any sympathy let alone a driving license after so many offenses, a license is a privilege not a right, this issue isn’t simply about money but maintaining law and order. Frankly I’m glad your off the road just don’t sit next to me on the bus please.

bobbatty 10:23 pm
03 Jul 10

Man, I kinda like you. I think you sound like a fairly normal bloke who just made a few mistakes. We all do. I think that if you want to start again you should think NZ or maybe even Papua where you could start afresh.

Forget the ACT and it will forgive you when Stanhope doesn’t succeed.

bd84 11:48 pm
03 Jul 10

You thumb your nose at the law and have driven around without a license for 11 years not bothering to pay your fines then expect the law to do you a favour and let you drive without paying the fines off completely? In my opinion you shouldn’t be given a license back at all if that has been your attitude, how you haven’t ended up in jail is also beyond me.

No doubt you have also been driving your kids around while unlicensed and are still probably driving today. Great role model for the kids there.

I hope you enjoy riding the bus for the next 10 years, it’s exactly what you deserve.

p1 1:00 am
04 Jul 10

Wow, and I though the two tickets I have received for speeding on my bike was pretty reckless of me. But then I don’t have any kids. I know those two don’t have anything to do with each other….

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