The Victorian government said today it will investigate whether companies are abusing the state’s demerit point system, after Crikey revealed a loophole which allows drivers of company register cars to dodge demerit points for speeding and other traffic offences.
Transport Minister Peter Bachelor’s spokewoman Kate Leonard said this morning any illegal activity uncovered by the investigation would be passed on to Victoria Police. She also claimed that companies that are unable to identify the driver of a company vehicle have to sign a statuary declaration to that effect – but this is not what Crikey was told when we called Civic Compliance on Friday.
The Advertiser has also followed up the story in Adelaide, reporting that state government officials have confirmed a loophole exists in the SA driver’s licence demerit points system following claims on “an internet site.” Transport SA spokeswoman Nicky Stuart said: “It’s designed for situations where companies haven’t kept log books of who is driving the car. When this was raised (on Friday) it was referred to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and he will respond on Monday.”
And we’ve had plenty of feedback on other schemes to dodge demerit points – though they all involve the illegal lodgement of a false statuary declaration. Here are a few of the most inventive suggestions from subscribers:
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
A better one for mum and dad drivers exists in Victoria, but it only works if you get a copy of the photo and hope it does not show a recognisable driver. Mum and dad have two cars, one in his name, one in her’s. Dad gets a camera fine for speeding BUT he fills in the form on the back and says, “My wife and I have two cars, each in our own name. Unfortunately we do not keep a diary of who drives which car at any time and as the photo does not help identifiy the driver, we cannot nominate who was driving. It was not me, but I cannot say for sure it was my wife.” Wife fills in a stat dec along the same lines. Send it off, wait two weeks and presto, a notice in the mail that the fine is withdrawn. Saved my licence that way a couple of times while working as a rep.
I had a speed-demon friend who lived in Victoria. However, he had a family member living in the Northern Territory, where apparently they still don’t have a demerit point system. When he would get the fine and demerit points, he would say it was the Territorian driving his car, so the fine would get transferred to him. The original driver would give the money to the Territorian and Bob’s your uncle, no demerit points.
Another rort I heard about several years ago was cheaper than the “corporate fee” strategy… The idea was to pay slightly more than the fine, but not cash the government-issued cheque for the balance. The computer system couldn’t manage if there was an amount different to the actual fine, so couldn’t process the allied demerits. Urban myth? Dunno, but it just seems like it’s plausibly absurd enough to be true!
CRIKEY: We’ll have more up on the website later today.