I didn't know this.
I thought that if the driver couldn't be identified then the fine was double...but it's different for companies.
The offences listed for the luxury cars are shocking. Repeat cases of speeding knowing that the driver can do so with impunity...
Surge in motorists using company vehicles to exploit legal loophole and dodge driving penalties
- DAVID NANKERVIS and JACKSON GOTHE-SNAPE
- Sunday Mail (SA)
- July 26, 2015 12:03AM
Drivers of luxury European cars are among a surge in motorists using company vehicles to exploit a legal loophole and dodge traffic penalties.
DRIVERS of luxury European cars are among a surge in the number of motorists using company vehicles to exploit a legal loophole and dodge fines and demerit points for speeding or running red lights.
Motorists dodged 14,000 fines worth $5.4 million and 30,000 demerit points last financial year because they were in cars registered by companies that opted not to identify the driver.
The number of unidentified drivers who have broken traffic laws but escaped punishment — including potential loss of licence — has almost doubled in three years.
A company can either identify the driver of its vehicle when caught on camera — or pay the penalty itself and cop an extra $300 “corporate fee”.
The RAA fears this is allowing dangerous drivers to cheat the system by “hiding behind” the company, amid concerns that repeat offenders are being protected to ensure they don’t lose their licences.
“There should be a review into identifying drivers in these cases because (they) need to be held accountable,” RAA road safety manager Charles Mountain said. “If people do something wrong and are caught, they should take responsibility because we expect other motorists to.”
Mr Mountain said larger companies closely monitored which staff drove their vehicles — for example, by using a log book — and held them responsible for any fine incurred.
But if a person relied on a licence for their work, there was a temptation to withhold a driver’s identity from police, Mr Mountain said.
“If it’s the difference between someone losing their licence or paying the extra $300 fine, then that would be considered the lesser of two evils,” he said.
In the past three years, speeding fines that have been paid by companies and incurred no demerit points for drivers included:
37 FINES for a black 1998 Porsche station wagon, which included offences on 12 occasions near the toll gate on the South Eastern Freeway.
34 FINES for a white 1999 Subaru station wagon, including eight times at one mobile camera location.
19 FINES for a silver 1999 Mercedes Benz, including eight times on Glover Ave near Bakewell Underpass.
Police have the registration details of all the cars caught on camera.
But they would not reveal if the above make, model, colour and year represented the same vehicle in each instance.
Other examples of company-paid fines include a Victorian registered truck doing 107km/h in a 60km/h zone at 2am on September 30 last year.
That driver avoided a fine of up to $1700 and licence disqualification from six months to two years.
Another unidentified driver was caught on a mobile camera in a white Mercedes doing 96km/h in a 50km/h zone at 4pm on Boxing Day last year — and avoided the same penalty.
Mr Mountain said the increase in traffic cameras in recent years “may partly” have contributed to the huge increase in the number of company car drivers identified as dodging fines in the past three financial years.
The number of speeding offences paid by companies has increased from 6344 fines worth $2,063,262 in 2012-13 to 11,957 fines worth $4,483,233 in 2014-15.
And company-paid red light fines rose from 1476 worth $684,864 to 1993 worth $970,547 in the same period.
The percentage of times a company has chosen to pay extra instead of identifying the driver has also risen — from 41 per cent to 54 per cent.
Road Safety Minister Tony Piccolo said drivers who were speeding or who ran red lightswere “putting the lives of others at risk’’.
“I sincerely hope that businesses are doing everything in their power to identify ... employees who are putting other road users’ safety at risk,’’ Mr Piccolo said.
“However, if this trend were to continue, I would be happy to explore ways of encouraging businesses who do not declare the drivers of work vehicles to ensure that only those drivers who abide by the road rules are permitted to drive on our roads.”
Superintendent Bob Fauser, officer in charge of the Traffic Support Branch, said police “apply the legislation that is available to them”.