for your own actions is not popular any more. The court reports tell us that.
People blame others for their own actions or inaction. They claim abuse, misfortune, the actions of others and more - anything but themselves. There is a piece in this morning's papers about the fines people have collected because they have not paid the registration for their cars. The excuse for many of them seems to be that they no longer get given a registration disc.
In this case, if I were in government and responsible, I would be giving them registration discs. I would very definitely be giving them registration discs. Why? Because if they have an accident and they are unregistered they are also not covered by insurance. If they have an accident the potential problems just escalate even further.
The biggest problem of all is that other innocent people could suffer. The unregistered and uninsured driver might well have not much in the way of worldly goods and no capacity to pay for any damages - even if their assets were seized. That could (and does) leave innocent people out of pocket.
I know of one such incident. The teen driver of the "old banger" had no capacity to pay but the damage to the other two cars ran to many thousands of dollars. It made no difference that he was held liable, and that his car was not roadworthy or registered or insured. He couldn't pay anything and he had no assets worth speaking of.
It might still have happened even if reminder notices had been sent out and registration discs had been provided but it seems even more people forget now. It worries me.
Vehicles are lethal weapons in the wrong hands. People speed. People use their phones or are otherwise inattentive. People are impatient.
And other people are injured, perhaps disabled for life. People die.
It is for that reason we should have registration discs. It isn't going to stop that sort of behaviour. It doesn't mean that everyone is going to be registered and insured. What it does mean is that more people will be registered and insured and that those who need help are more likely to be able to get it.
I thought of all this as I read the article. I thought of the boy who has caused me and others so much trouble recently. In a few years from now he might well have thought it would be good to save a bit by not registering and insuring a vehicle. I am not holding my breath but I hope he now thinks differently.
But we need to bring back those tax registration discs. This time it is not about taking responsibility but about the potential damage to other people.