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More options for idiots

By johnboy - 21 March 2013 54

parking

Simon Corbell has announced he’s going to make traffic penalties less punitive:

Disadvantaged and financially vulnerable drivers in the ACT will have additional options for dealing with their traffic and parking penalties under a new payment scheme, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, announced today.

“The scheme will include options to pay penalties in instalments, or undertake community work or social development programs in place of payment,” said Mr Corbell.

The Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, introduced into the Assembly today, builds on legislation passed in May 2012.

“The new payment options will assist people whose personal situation makes it significantly harder for them to pay their traffic and parking penalties, particularly those who are disadvantaged financially or may be going through a particularly difficult period in their lives,” he said.

“Instalment payments for penalties will start at $10 a fortnight, and payments can be made through direct debit, BPay or Centrepay, or through Australia Post by phone, internet or in person.”

The options of instalment payments or work or development programs will be administered under a single ‘infringement notice management plan’, which will consolidate all of a person’s penalties into a single amount. Instalment payments are automatically available to holders of certain pensioner or concession cards.

“The option of participating in community work or social development program will also be available to people who are unable to pay by instalments and who face difficult personal circumstances,” said Mr Corbell.

To demonstrate just how well the existing scheme is deterring poor behaviour we remind our dear readers of the Monday parking extravaganzas.

Given the odds of getting caught versus the now featherweight penalties we’d like to thank Simon for this unexpected contribution to our user generated segment.

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54 Responses to
More options for idiots
Leon 4:33 pm 21 Mar 13

Ben_Dover said :

IrishPete said :

It’s the act which is punishable, income should have nothing to do with it.

Do you think a $100 fine will deter a rich person from parking in a disacled parking space, as much as it will deter a poor person?

bundah 3:17 pm 21 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

“More options for idiots” is a fair headline, but “Simon Corbell has announced he’s going to make traffic penalties less punitive” is not an accurate byeline (is johnboy trolling?). More accurate would be “Simon Corbell has announced he’s going to make traffic penalties more equitable”.

A $100 fine is meaningless to a rich person, but a lot to a poor person. That’s inequitable. Giving them the option to work it off or to pay in instalments is partly and minimally addressing that inequity.

Roll on Unit Fines, where the unit is a proportion of the person’s income. Tried in the UK in the 1990s but undermined by the rabid right wing press. In place in other civilised countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine

IP

How are they going to be more equitable given the low income earners still have to pay the full amount??

devils_advocate 3:13 pm 21 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

Roll on Unit Fines, where the unit is a proportion of the person’s income. Tried in the UK in the 1990s but undermined by the rabid right wing press. In place in other civilised countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine
IP

the idea of unit fines may also have been undermined by the fact that they are fundamentally inequitable and probably counterproductive. A person engaging in some dangerous or illegal act imposes the same social cost whether they are rich or whether they are poor.

Firstly, how do you define income? Should a PAYG person pay more than a self-employed contractor, who may accumulate a lot more wealth in a given period but have little “income”?

Also, truly dangerous social conduct is subject to non-monetary sanctions (such as eventually accruing enough demerit points as to lose the legal entitlement to drive). Sure, parking infringements don’t have the same effect, but as much as it may irk you, overstaying your allocated 15 minutes or inconveniencing a disabled person isn’t actually a life-or-death decision. It’s not worth re-engineering an penalty system and introducing worse side effects to account for people that earn enough money that a $70 parking fine won’t deter them from saving 5 minutes.

In a lot of cases, wealth may reduce the social harm caused by given conduct. A brand new volvo, for example, is likely to be better at avoiding an accident (brakes, avoidance tech) so speeding becomes less dangerous for a relatively wealthy person compared with a person driving a cheaper car. Also in the event of an accident I’d rather be hit by a volvo, with it’s auto-eject bonnet to protect me from the engine block, than (say) a commodore.

To the extent that social harm is not subject to private or social insurance, wealthy individuals are more likley to be able to fully compensate the social harm their illegal acts cause.

Finally, if someone has no income, or negative income, does this mean they should get to wander around breaking the law with impunity and no financial consequences whatsoever? In fact if they have negative income (their home business or hobby farm happened to run a loss this financial year) then presumably we should be paying them to commit crimes? I don’t think so.

For these reasons, unit penalties or wealth-dependent penalties are unworkable and simply a bad idea.

Ben_Dover 3:07 pm 21 Mar 13

IrishPete said :

A $100 fine is meaningless to a rich person, but a lot to a poor person. That’s inequitable. Giving them the option to work it off or to pay in instalments is partly and minimally addressing that inequity.

Is a disabled person less inconvenienced if a poor person parks illegally in a disabled place?

It’s the act which is punishable, income should have nothing to do with it.

Corbell is pandering to his fan base.

magiccar9 2:09 pm 21 Mar 13

They’re expensive fines with a certain time frame for payment for a reason… to stop you breaking the law! How about these welfare bumpkins start obeying the road/parking rules and then they won’t get fined.
Problem solved, move on.

IrishPete 1:22 pm 21 Mar 13

“More options for idiots” is a fair headline, but “Simon Corbell has announced he’s going to make traffic penalties less punitive” is not an accurate byeline (is johnboy trolling?). More accurate would be “Simon Corbell has announced he’s going to make traffic penalties more equitable”.

A $100 fine is meaningless to a rich person, but a lot to a poor person. That’s inequitable. Giving them the option to work it off or to pay in instalments is partly and minimally addressing that inequity.

Roll on Unit Fines, where the unit is a proportion of the person’s income. Tried in the UK in the 1990s but undermined by the rabid right wing press. In place in other civilised countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine

IP

Watson 1:17 pm 21 Mar 13

Alderney said :

So, where is the disinsentive to drive and park like a tool?

I couldn’t tell you the amount of people I knew in my younger/wilder days who got out of doing community service.

How many people get fines anyway? Certainly not me or many that I know.

Here’s an idea, how about doing the right thing in the first place so you don’t get fined. It’s driving, i.e. not that difficult.

Well aren’t you a good boy/girl.

I have contributed plenty to the ACT revenue through parking fines. For staying too long in a limited time spot. Or for not having a valid parking voucher thingy: forgot, no change, came back later than expected, or in one case when I had one too many and did the right thing and left the car in Civic to take a cab home only to find a fine on my windscreen the next morning (the only way I could’ve avoided that one was by driving home drunk, so that really peed me off big time). Near my office there is only a staff carpark that is completely full after 8.30am and 1 and 2 hour parking so if I get stuck in a meeting I make the parking inspectors happy. Again. That’s ok, no thanks needed.

I wouldn’t use it as I am not that poor and rather get it over and done with but I don’t see why you shouldn’t allow people a payment plan for their fines. Provided that the cost of implementing this is less than the revenue raised indeed.

schmeah 12:53 pm 21 Mar 13

“… may be going through a particularly difficult period in their lives,” .. it seems there’s a lot you can get away with in Canberra if you mention some difficulties around living and stuff.

PantsMan 12:29 pm 21 Mar 13

According to Simon’s usual idiotic thinking, shouldn’t the shop you illegally park out the front of have to pay the fine?

Alderney 12:22 pm 21 Mar 13

So, where is the disinsentive to drive and park like a tool?

I couldn’t tell you the amount of people I knew in my younger/wilder days who got out of doing community service.

How many people get fines anyway? Certainly not me or many that I know.

Here’s an idea, how about doing the right thing in the first place so you don’t get fined. It’s driving, i.e. not that difficult.

switch 12:18 pm 21 Mar 13

Mickey is clearly disabled.

poetix 11:47 am 21 Mar 13

I love your headlines; there hasn’t been as much snark around here lately!

p1 11:32 am 21 Mar 13

At ten dollars a fortnight you could well be paying twenty times that every fortnight in parking fees to avoid getting further fines…

Ben_Dover 11:11 am 21 Mar 13

Pandering, pandering, pandering…..

tim_c 11:03 am 21 Mar 13

Sounds like it could cost more to administer than the income derived from the fines etc.

And of course, it still doesn’t deal with bigger issue that you have to actually have Police on patrol in order for people to get caught in the first place.

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