A motorist who has their fine overturned by a Magistrate will also have the demerit points associated with the alleged offence not applied, Ballina MP Don Page said today.
“Back in 2004 I raised the issue of how unjust it was for a motorist who has their traffic fine waived by a Magistrate because of some mitigating circumstances only to have the demerit points recorded against their licence,” Mr Page said.
“The Nationals and Liberals had moved legislation to fix up this anomaly but the Labor Government voted it down.
“Now the Government, after years of refusing to support Opposition legislation, has suddenly decided to steal our policy and rebadge it as their own in the face of an election next March.
“I welcome the belated adoption of our policy by this incompetent Labor Government, but question why it has taken them since 2004 to act.
“Many motorists can’t believe that if a Magistrate waives the fine for a traffic offence, they still get the demerit points. I believe that situation is unjust. The court’s decision should override the RTA’s ability to apply the demerit points regardless.
“Now, thankfully, common sense has prevailed but it won’t help those who have suffered under the old arrangements, sometimes losing their licence in the process.
“In a case I raised in Parliament in 2004, a red P-plate driver was pulled over by police and given a penalty notice of $660 because two of his passengers were not wearing seatbelts.
“The Magistrate judged that he was in this instance not responsible for his passengers and waived the fine, but the 6 demerit points were recorded which meant he also lost his licence. Because he needed his licence for his traineeship, he also lost his traineeship and his job – a very sad outcome.”