27 August 2010

Legislating to save on process servers

| johnboy
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Chief Minister Stanhope has announced new laws to handle licence suspensions.

This follows the news in July that the ACT Government was running an illegal operation on licence suspensions.

Some of the problems have been dealt with administratively. But for the other hiccups we need new laws:

“This legislation deals with another aspect of the Court’s decision, which found a suspension does not take effect until the driver has been served with the suspension notice,” Mr Stanhope said. “The Court’s finding creates practical difficulties for the road transport authority, as it would require the authority to manually track each of the thousands of notices sent every year and record when those notices are received.

“Manual tracking would add a substantial cost to the administration of driver licences and vehicle registrations in the ACT, a cost that would ultimately be passed on to other drivers or rate payers.

“To overcome this problem, the Government’s amendments provide that a suspension takes effect on a particular date rather than the date when the notice is received and that date must be at least 10 days after the notice is sent.”

Under the amendments, a motorist will be sent a reminder notice after the initial period for paying the infringement notice or fine, including any extensions, has expired. This will be followed by a suspension notice (for unpaid infringement notice penalties) or a fine enforcement notice (for court fines), alerting the motorist that the road transport authority is required by law to suspend their licence, or if the person does not have a licence, their vehicle registration or their right to drive in the ACT, on a specified date.
If the penalty or fine is not paid by that date, a final notice will be sent to confirm that the suspension has taken effect.

Mr Stanhope advises anyone who’s feeling confused to call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

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So, rather than fix the cause of the problem, they simply legislate to make a previously unacceptable practice, acceptable?

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