Speed/ Red Light Camera
Speed/ Red Light Camera

Speeding fine dodgers illegally shifting ticket blame

A STAGGERING one in four speeding fines have been torn up in the past year, as new figures reveal police are cracking down on dodgy drivers trying to illegally offload their fines to someone else.

The Courier-Mail can reveal 326,413 speeding fines were voided, waived or rescinded in 2018-19 - up 14 per cent from the 286,271 fines struck out the previous year.

It means about 23 per cent of the 1.43 million speeding fines dished out to drivers on Queensland roads last financial year were avoided, waived or torn up.

Fines can be waived if the driver nominates someone else, they live overseas, have since died or have "extenuating circumstances". This could include a medical emergency or a malfunction with their vehicle.

 

 

Police could also abandon taking action if a technical error was found that would make it difficult for them to prosecute the driver.

In 2017-18, about 22 per cent of the 1.28 million speeding fines were waived or torn up.

The revelations come as new figures show police are hunting down motorists who illegally fill out statutory declaration forms to nominate someone else to receive the fine. In the five months to December, there were 214 alleged offences involving false or fraudulent nominations from drivers nabbed for a camera-detected offence.

"The Queensland Police Service will investigate if it believes that nomination of a driver is untrue," a spokesman said. "Road Safety Camera Office also has a dedicated team that investigates false or fraudulent conduct in regard to the Camera Detected Offence Program."

Examples provided by police included a man who recently pleaded guilty to two counts of false declarations and two counts fraud.

He was slapped with a $1750 fine, which included the original penalties from when he was captured speeding and running a red light.

The Transport Department last month launched a new online process for motorists to shift their fine to someone else, so they didn't have to fill out a paper statutory declaration.

 

 

A TMR spokeswoman insisted there were no concerns the online nomination process would raise any more risks for false nominations than statutory declarations. "(It) will in fact allow for more verifications about the accuracy of the information entered including verifying the details of the person nominated as the person in charge of the vehicle," she said.

Deputy LNP leader Tim Mander said the Government needed to ensure that any digital process did not make it easier for offenders to dodge paying fines. "As we've seen with the ieMR debacle, Labor and IT don't mix," he said.

Police received almost 290,000 statutory declarations last financial year from drivers trying to nominate someone else for fines.

About 23 per cent of the 1.43 million speeding fines dished out to drivers on Queensland roads last financial year were avoided, waived or torn. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker
About 23 per cent of the 1.43 million speeding fines dished out to drivers on Queensland roads last financial year were avoided, waived or torn. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker

BY THE NUMBERS

326,413 fines voided, waived or rescinded in 2018-19

286,271 fines voided, waived or rescinded in 2017-18

$1.43 million in fines issued in 2018-19

$1.28 million in fines issued in 2017-18

290,000 statutory declarations from drivers blaming someone else for the fine in 2018-19

 

 

HOW A FINE CAN BE WAIVED

■ The driver has since died

■ The driver nominates someone else who was behind the wheel at the time

■ The driver is an overseas resident and cannot be pursued

■ Out of date - the notice cannot be prosecuted after a set amount of time

■ Extenuating circumstances, such as medical emergencies or vehicle malfunction

■ A technical error has been found which would impede any prosecution

■ A new fine is issued with the correct details due to an error with the original fine



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