Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Unpaid fines

are back in the news - with one person apparently owing more than $300,000. The government is apparently owed many millions of dollars - over $300m in unpaid fines.
Now, I am sorry but it should never have been allowed to get that far. 
The Senior Cat once had a speeding fine - only it turned out not to be him or his car. The photograph showed a different car entirely but with an almost identical number plate. Nevertheless a puzzled and worried Senior Cat had turned up at the relevant office ready to pay the fine. He told the person at the counter he  had not been there that day - he had been at a meeting on the other side of the city - and the person at the counter had arranged for things to be checked. 
     "Don't pay it yet. If there is a genuine mistake...."
Good. That's the way the system should work.
But it seems some people simply don't bother to pay their fines. They go on not bothering...and not bothering. They get more fines and they don't bother about those either. They lose their licence. They go on driving. They add more debt and more debt. They drive unlicensed and uninsured in unregistered vehicles.
An MP has suggested their vehicles should be confiscated "after a very generous 100 fines". That is way too generous in my view. Such people are simply not fit to drive. They should never be behind the wheel of a machine that has the potential to kill others.
Driving is not a right. It is a privilege. The road rules and the speed limits are there for a reason. 
I had to go out yesterday. I use pedal power. I am slow compared with any car on the road - and I stay on the footpaths as far as possible. A car passed me at high speed on the side road leading to the railway crossing. At the corner it had to stop because there was traffic in both directions, a lot of traffic. I could see the driver tapping with impatience as I pulled up on the footpath. I turned left and then did a perfectly legal u-turn when another driver let me through the traffic. I was up the footpath and through the maze before the car that had passed me at high speed was even across the traffic. 
At that hour in the morning bikes but not cars are permitted to do a left turn into the next road. I did a left turn, stopped to deliver something to the person who was waiting for me and, a moment later, the impatient driver roared past - having done an illegal left turn.
I went on to leave a book at the chute in the library - and there was the impatient driver...and a police car.
Oh yes, he will get a fine for something. The problem is that he probably won't pay it and he will go on driving. 
I wish they had the capacity to take away his car there and then.       

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