From tomorrow Canberrans struggling to pay their traffic fines should find repayments a little easier to make, and their license easier to hold onto thanks to a new scheme from the ACT Greens.
“The new scheme is designed to be fairer, take account of the circumstances of Canberrans who are struggling, and improve social justice outcomes in Canberra,” said Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury.
“The old traffic fine system provided very limited payment options and was too inflexible, resulting in some harsh and unjust outcomes for Canberra’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
“Failure to pay a traffic fine in time meant a person’s licence was automatically suspended, even if the original offence was minor, such as a parking fine.
“For people who are on a low income or suffering from other disadvantage, the spiraling impacts of that suspension could be devastating. Disadvantaged and vulnerable people often rely on their drivers licence to access employment, income, support, and housing.
“The new system, set up through the Greens’ legislation, ensures the traffic fine system is fair and flexible by establishing:
— Options to pay fines through instalments;
— A system of community work and social development programs, which people on low income or with special circumstances can undertake in lieu of payments;
— Options to waive fines in special circumstances, and;
— Opportunities to provisionally reinstate a person’s licence when they are participating in a payment plan (only for licenses suspended for late fines).