15 July 2010

Suspended drivers get a free go!

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times yesterday had the thrilling news that, due to the sort of cockup we’ve come to expect from the ACT Government, thousands of licence suspensions will have to be re-issued.

In his judgment, Mr Burns said that the Road Transport Authority’s delegate appeared to have taken the approach of suspending a person’s licence and then serving them with a notice advising of the suspension.

But he said that a driver could only be suspended after they had been served with a notice, not before.

As of last month, there were 4760 drivers in the ACT whose licences were suspended because they had not paid parking, traffic or speed camera infringement notices.

With a bit of luck we won’t make the same mistake again for a while though.

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Worked out well for me dodged that bullet.

“on the road again”

As much as I hate offenders getting off with loopholes, I found myself in a similar situation, and agree with buzz819 that the authorities have to ensure the person is notified of the suspension or similar for failure to pay a minor fine. I had my licence details up to date, and was in the phone book at that address for the previous three years and STILL ended up with VICPOL putting a warrant out for me.

I was pinged by a Victorian speed camera in the Mallee desert for the heinous crime of doing 107km/h in a 100 zone in 1998.

VICPOL mailed the fine to a house three doors down from my address for some reason. Then 28 days later mailed the follow up fine (+ late fee), then the notice to attend Court for not paying the fine, and finally they mailed the notice that a apprehension warrant had been issued for failure to pay the fine – all to the house three doors down.

Luckily for me the guy at number 12 kept the mail, and picked up a copy of the Canberra white pages and dropped them all off in one batch. The nice officer at Woden counter said since I fronted them to sort it out, he’d allow me to go and get the ‘exact’ $179.00. Also mentioning that had I been picked up at a traffic stop/RBT or call out, I would have been dragged down to the City watch house.

I found out in February this year that my license had been cancelled back in 2006 due to a parking fine. And that they had apparently sent a notice to an old address (which I never received). What amazes me more is that I had been into the shopfronts to change details on my license after getting married, moving house etc during this four year period and not one person bothered to tell me that it had been suspended until I went in to renew it this year.

georgesgenitals6:14 pm 15 Jul 10

This is small potatoes, really.

It will only effect anyone who was charged with driving without a license in the time between notification and the date it should have actually been suspended. After the notification period, the license will still be suspended until the fines are paid. Given it is the law to change your address on your license within 14 days (from memory), arguing your way out of the suspension after the 10 days warning should be futile. It’s not the responsibility of RUS to track you down at any address that isn’t your registered one.

icantbelieveitsnotbutter3:47 pm 15 Jul 10

Rollersk8r said :

This stinks! Yes, the processes should be rock solid and free of loopholes – but this particular law firm is making a specialty of putting dangerous drivers back on the road due to spelling mistakes and the like.

Yes, not paying a parking fine automatically qualifies you as a dangerous driver.

I was pulled over in NSW for excessive speeding. This involves going to court to explain your self. At the court hearing I was given a suspension. I appealed this, and was assured by the NSW court that the suspension was not in effect while awaiting the appeal. However, ACT were notified of the result and subsequently cancelled my licence.

Now I have to say that when I received that letter the person at the licensing place were very helpful, and after sending her documents from the NSW court she had my licence back valid by the end of the day. But there was at least a day where I was driving unlicensed unknowingly.

Unfortunately the RTA here has a very relaxed approach about suspending a person’s licence. They just put it in the mail, they don’t know that it even makes it to the licence holder. How can an official document like that be treated with such laziness? At least having it sent out registered post, for the licence holder to sign would show that they had received the letter, or like subpoena’s it has to be served on the person??

justin heywood12:26 pm 15 Jul 10

The guy had his license suspended for not paying a fine because he failed to tell the Road Transport Authority that he had changed his address.

If he doesn’t tell the RTA where he lives and he doesn’t pay his fine for not telling them, what else can the RTA do?

This stinks! Yes, the processes should be rock solid and free of loopholes – but this particular law firm is making a specialty of putting dangerous drivers back on the road due to spelling mistakes and the like.

Josh Dugan will be so happy! 😉

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