Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Registration discs on cars

were ditched by the state government several years ago. This morning there is a piece in the paper about the way in which $2m a week is being collected in fines from people who fail to remember to register their vehicles - or perhaps hope they will get away with it.
There is also the reminder that this means they don't have third party insurance either - that insurance which covers them for the harm they might do to someone else.
The Senior Cat will have something to say about all this when he prowls out and reads the item over his muesli. He forgot once. There was some excuse for this but it frightened him.
The usual renewal notice failed to arrive in the mail. That in itself was not an excuse but it was also about the time his wife was dying and he could think of little else. Then, after her death, there was another major upheaval and then another. He was overwhelmed by far more paperwork than is usual even after a death and there were other issues as well. The car (he was still driving at the time) was not registered. He simply didn't notice.
Then one morning I went out to put something in the car for him to take to someone else and I noticed that the registration disc said "10" (for October)  and here it was "11". I went back inside and queried if he had forgotten to put the new disc on. 
It was probably just as well he was sitting down because he went pale.
      "I don't think I've paid the registration. I can't remember doing it."
He left his breakfast and frantically searched the paper work. No, he hadn't paid it. As soon as he could he walked (because sixteen years ago he could still do this) to the local registration office. He was so upset he asked to speak to the manager and confessed what he had done. He waited for wrath to fall on him, a hefty fine perhaps. 
The manager sat him down in his office and fetched the necessary paperwork himself. He didn't utter one cross word. He merely told the Senior Cat, "I did the same thing myself in much the same circumstances. Just pay it now."
I have no doubt that the Senior Cat's agitation was so obviously genuine that the manager was not going to add to it. All the same the Senior Cat knows he was fortunate, very fortunate. If there had been an accident he wouldn't have been covered and the financial consequences could have been very, very serious. 
The Senior Cat tells other people what happened but, as he points out, it was because I noticed the registration disc said one month and not another we discovered that the problem existed. 
Those registration discs are pesky little things to stick on and remove each year but they are an excellent reminder. 

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