Monday, 20 April 2015

Car registration "stickers"

are a thing of the past in this part of Downunder. The government did away with them several years ago. 
You still need to have your car registered and insured with the compulsory "third party" insurance. The government has no intention of doing away with that. Instead they have "saved" money by not sending out what was known in Upover as a "tax disc". Yes, it is gone from there too as of last year.
I don't know how Upover organises their renewal system. Here people are supposed to get a notice in the post. 
There have been the usual problems such as notices being sent to the wrong address or delayed in the post. The online system for paying has had multiple problems.
And people still forget. There is no visual reminder any more. 
"You have to take the responsibility" officialdom tells people. Put simply however there are always some people who won't. The government is now grabbing fines of around a thousand dollars for each unregistered car it discovers - and there will be many more it does not discover. No ordinary member of the public can tell now whether a car's registration is out of date.
There is a problem with all of this. It means the third party insurance hasn't been paid either. Have an accident and you are not covered. Have an accident and the other person isn't covered either.
Several months after my mother died I happened to look at the registration disc on the Senior Cat's car. (He was still driving then.)
I then went into the house and said, "Do you realise you haven't put the new registration disc on the car?"
They still had registration discs then. In the emotional turmoil surrounding my mother's death he had forgotten - forgotten to pay his registration and third party insurance. We later discovered that he had not been sent a notice but he should still have been aware of it. When he realised he had driven the car both unregistered and uninsured he went very pale. He sat there at the kitchen table and literally shook. I made him a cup of tea and then he walked off to  the local point where you can pay such things. He asked to speak to the manager and told him what he had done.
The manager was very nice about it - perhaps because he could see how upset the Senior Cat was and because, he told the Senior Cat, he had once done something similar himself.  The Senior Cat paid his registration and insurance and came home looking much happier.
But I know too many people who would have blithely hopped into their vehicles thinking, "I must do that."
Well yes, they must do that - as quickly as possible. I know a number of people who are paraplegics. Two of them were involved in accidents where the major portion of the blame was placed on others - others who were unregistered and uninsured. I leave you to imagine the financial mess.
I think we need tax registration discs. They serve as a visual reminder and it means other people can remind you as well.

1 comment:

jowdjbrown said...

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