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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.

What’s Your opinion?


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More options for idiots
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magiccar9 9:23 pm 22 Mar 13

kea said :

Never had a parking ticket in your life? Then you’ve never really lived! 🙂 never had to fly by the seat of your pants, never crammed a ridiculous amount of things to do and appointments into your day? and i’m just talking about being a mum.. sometimes you make sacrifices and choose to park closer to the building so you have less further to run in the rain with a toddler.. it’s called LIFE..

The rest if us have lives too. Just yesterday I had to walk to my car after work – maybe half a kilometer in the heavy rain carrying this really neat invention called an “umbrella”. I could have also put on a rain coat but I chose to fly by the seat of my pants…
It’s not difficult to use your head and take a few extra minutes to avoid a fine. But if you’re happy paying for something that can be avoided, go right ahead.

IrishPete 7:42 pm 22 Mar 13

devils_advocate said :

IrishPete said :

Taxation (or at least income tax) is already based on income.

IP

Taxation policy is completely different to imposition of penalties. In fact, one could argue it’s exactly opposite.

Taxation is neccessary. Much of the effort that goes into designing tax policy is to ensure that tax does NOT act a deterrent to engaging in income-producing activity (i.e. WORK).

By contrast, the imposition of fines is (ostensibly) aimed at deterring conduct. I.e. getting people to do the right thing. Some might argue that many types of conduct that are fined (speeding at low levels, illegal parking) are in fact aimed at revenue raising, but the point is, it’s socially optimal for this conduct to not occur.

By contrast, imagine what would happen if all the wealthy people stopped working.

Your own example undermines your argument.

I was responding to someone else’s comment about tax. Frankly, their comment was incoherent, so I think perhaps my response doesn’t make much sense either.

I don’t know what “your own example” you are referring to.

IP

IrishPete 7:39 pm 22 Mar 13

Vix said :

IrishPete said :

Someone on low income is not paying $100 a week to run their car. More like $20 as a starting point.

IP

Man – where’d they buy their petrol??

How much does it cost for a pensioner to register a car in the ACT? Something like $600 I think. At $20 a week that leaves $440 for petrol and maintenance. Not much, but probably enough if the car only does few km.

IP

kea 6:20 pm 22 Mar 13

magiccar9 said :

kea said :

Highly offended at the subject heading of this article..

Highly offended? Really? I’m sorry but if you can’t estimate how long you’re going to be, quickly duck out from an appointment, or find a park with longer hours/free then you kinda are an idiot. I’ve never had a parking ticket in my life – mainly because I used common sense when looking for a carpark…

Never had a parking ticket in your life? Then you’ve never really lived! 🙂 never had to fly by the seat of your pants, never crammed a ridiculous amount of things to do and appointments into your day? and i’m just talking about being a mum.. sometimes you make sacrifices and choose to park closer to the building so you have less further to run in the rain with a toddler.. it’s called LIFE..

wildturkeycanoe 5:21 pm 22 Mar 13

magiccar9 said :

kea said :

Highly offended at the subject heading of this article..

Highly offended? Really? I’m sorry but if you can’t estimate how long you’re going to be, quickly duck out from an appointment, or find a park with longer hours/free then you kinda are an idiot. I’ve never had a parking ticket in my life – mainly because I used common sense when looking for a carpark…

Common sense or lots of common Cents. If you pay $12 instead of $3, the chances of getting a ticket are drastically reduced. I guess if you only can afford a few dollars for parking, the risk may eventually pay off. When you do get fined, all those dollars saved will come in handy.

magiccar9 4:17 pm 22 Mar 13

kea said :

Highly offended at the subject heading of this article..

Highly offended? Really? I’m sorry but if you can’t estimate how long you’re going to be, quickly duck out from an appointment, or find a park with longer hours/free then you kinda are an idiot. I’ve never had a parking ticket in my life – mainly because I used common sense when looking for a carpark…

bundah 2:54 pm 22 Mar 13

kea said :

More options for idiots? That’s a bit harsh isn’t it? I get the odd parking fine.. and its usually for overstaying the allotted time and i’m not off sipping tea somewhere, I’m usually in client meetings.. or on occasion in medical appointments with my daughter.. one time i was in PAYING a fine and the lady serving me was chatting away and rather than being rude to her i held a polite conversation only to come out and find a parking officer writing a ticket..

Highly offended at the subject heading of this article..

Highly offended? Surely you jest?

kea 2:00 pm 22 Mar 13

More options for idiots? That’s a bit harsh isn’t it? I get the odd parking fine.. and its usually for overstaying the allotted time and i’m not off sipping tea somewhere, I’m usually in client meetings.. or on occasion in medical appointments with my daughter.. one time i was in PAYING a fine and the lady serving me was chatting away and rather than being rude to her i held a polite conversation only to come out and find a parking officer writing a ticket..

Highly offended at the subject heading of this article..

peitab 1:38 pm 22 Mar 13

Jono said :

Watson said :

Because you have never gone out for a couple of beers and enjoyed yourself so much that you ended up having more?

Actually no, never. I’ve gone out for a couple of beers regularly, and when I’ve had the decision to make as to whether or not I have a few more, my choice depends on whether or not I’m driving. I don’t make a decision and then whine about the obvious consequences of making that decision.

Watson said :

I never know whether the high ratio of dreadful bores on RA is indicative of the nature of the Canberra population or just an internet phenomenon.

If making the suggestion that you take responsibility for your own actions and your own decisions makes someone a dreadful bore, then I guess like screaming banshee, that I’m guilty as charged.

But I’m more than happy that you’re so willing to put money into the ACT government coffers by ignoring the road rules – it means that those of us who choose to obey the road rules have less to contribute. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Both points of view put forward responsible actions – one isn’t more responsible than the other. Where Watson’s original rant fell down is that they couldn’t be bothered to get back into Civic the next day to collect their car before paid parking started again.

devils_advocate 12:48 pm 22 Mar 13

watto23 said :

Most people obey the law, but their are some that regardless of punishment will do whatever they feel like.

So, if people do what they feel like now, imagine if there were wealth-based fines and people on zero income faced zero consequences…

Also, FWIW, most of the bad parking pics in RA seem to be fairly average cars, with maybe a slight over-representation of mass-produced SUVs. You don’t often see AMG or Aston Martin badges in the bad parking pics. More to the point, expensive cars certainly don’t appear to be over-represented, so the idea that rich people thumb their noses at the law doesn’t seem to be borne out by the (frankly, comprehensive) evidence presented on RA each Monday.

devils_advocate 12:45 pm 22 Mar 13

Jim Jones said :

The measures that you’ve outlined for people to take to avoid paying the fine are all fairly complicated and involved. It’s not like tax minimisation, this is another level entirely.

Avoiding parking fines is more complicated than tax minimisation?

Wow. just… wow.

watto23 12:32 pm 22 Mar 13

Actually maybe community work/service should be an option for all, if it actually gets done.
Many organisations would benefit from this. Hell even let to so called rich people volunteer their time rather than pay the full fine. It may actually benefit the community more.

If you raised fines for wealthier people the government would probably end up losing revenue….
Even paying off traffic fines in installments, will make it far more likely for fines to be paid. Most people obey the law, but their are some that regardless of punishment will do whatever they feel like.

Jim Jones 12:22 pm 22 Mar 13

devils_advocate said :

Jim Jones said :

Not sure where you’re getting the idea that I think rich people are dumb.

Regardless, stating a couple of difficulties in constructing effective policy is hardly ground for throwing hands in the air and giving up.

If it were, we would have abolished speed limits, because – you know – people still speed and don’t get caught, so why bother having them at all, right?

The idea that rich people are dumb is an inference drawn from the various posts which proceed on the basis that: rich people will just sit idly by and be subjected to another tax, even when there are fairly obvious ways to avoid it. The irony of the scheme you are suggesting is that it would probably end up being regressive – the large majority of low-medium income earners would pay the most per offence, with wealthier individuals paying little or nothing. (even though I generally park legally and obey traffic laws, maybe I should just shut up and see if this income-based fines thing gets up…)

On the implementation issues, I think it’s a significant understatement to refer to these as “a couple of difficulties”.

As for the analogy with speeding fines, I’d be happy to explain why that analogy is misguided if you can offer some options for overcoming the “couple of difficulties” outlines above. (that’s not intended as snark, I’d genuinely be interested to know).

“Another tax” – it’s not a tax. YYou’re perfectly capable of differentiating between a tax and a fine. Don’t pull that Abbot crap, it’s cheap and makes you look dumb.

The measures that you’ve outlined for people to take to avoid paying the fine are all fairly complicated and involved. It’s not like tax minimisation, this is another level entirely.

Again: there are implementation issues inherent in any policy. Difficulties or imperfection (regardless of the level) are not an excuse to throw your hands in the air and say ‘it’s all too hard, we’ll just give up’. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Maybe it would tend towards the regressive. Who knows? I’m simply stating that, at very least, it has a decent foundation and is worth exploring as an option.

devils_advocate 12:08 pm 22 Mar 13

Jim Jones said :

Not sure where you’re getting the idea that I think rich people are dumb.

Regardless, stating a couple of difficulties in constructing effective policy is hardly ground for throwing hands in the air and giving up.

If it were, we would have abolished speed limits, because – you know – people still speed and don’t get caught, so why bother having them at all, right?

The idea that rich people are dumb is an inference drawn from the various posts which proceed on the basis that: rich people will just sit idly by and be subjected to another tax, even when there are fairly obvious ways to avoid it. The irony of the scheme you are suggesting is that it would probably end up being regressive – the large majority of low-medium income earners would pay the most per offence, with wealthier individuals paying little or nothing. (even though I generally park legally and obey traffic laws, maybe I should just shut up and see if this income-based fines thing gets up…)

On the implementation issues, I think it’s a significant understatement to refer to these as “a couple of difficulties”.

As for the analogy with speeding fines, I’d be happy to explain why that analogy is misguided if you can offer some options for overcoming the “couple of difficulties” outlines above. (that’s not intended as snark, I’d genuinely be interested to know).

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