It’s time to cut well-intentioned citizens some slack

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SO, serial road pests could face much harsher financial and driving sanctions and stricter monitoring to curb their

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Life as a frazzled mum ... it’s is no excuse to overlook a bill.

My guess is probably not.

My guess is my goody-goody colleague who wears bows on her shoes and has never had so much as a warning let alone a fine in her almost two and a half decades on the road, will if she is ever caught creeping up over the speed limit, be fined as severely as a hardened hoon.

The only difference is, I’m sure any road rebuke would leave her red-faced and paying up for her sins immediately, unlike the state’s 20 worst fine defaulters who’ve racked up a mind-boggling 3349 unpaid fines and owe the taxpayer $3.1 million.

This week The Advertiser reported the State Government had commissioned the University of Adelaide to investigate ways to stop repeat offenders who ignore the law and rack up dozens of fines and longer licence disqualifications.

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this isn’t before time.

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Bd drivers: The state’s 20 worst fine defaulters who’ve racked up a mind-boggling 3349 unpaid fines and owe the taxpayer $3.1 million.Source:adelaidenow

One option being mooted is for serial pests to be treated differently to drivers who are one-off or occasional offenders, and impose bigger fines and longer licence disqualifications.

“What we have is a one-size-fits-all system for everyone, and we try to cater for all drivers but the people at the extreme end tend not to respond to those rules,” said the Centre for Automotive Safety Research’s associate professor Jeremy Woolley. “We will be looking worldwide, looking at what we can do and is working well.”

So basically, the people who do the right thing most of the time get hardest hit.

Earlier this year I overlooked paying my car’s registration — yes, yes, I KNOW this is a serious matter and I’m eternally grateful I wasn’t involved in a bingle during the unwitting lapse.

It was an honest oversight: With a house in mayhem, visitors arriving and the payment not due until several weeks, I popped the bill away, meaning to get to it later.

But in the busyness of life, I simply forgot and remained blissfully unaware of the fact I was out of rego until I got a reminder letter in the mail.

I was horrified to say the least to discover my mistake — and to think I’d been driving the kids around in an unregistered car.

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On the beat: Traffic police stop a mum and son at a routine check.Source:News Corp Australia

I paid it immediately, also downloading the EzyReg app on my phone to ensure I wouldn’t make the same mistake again, and also back-paying until the due date.

But several days later, before I’d time to let out a sigh of relief, a new letter arrived.

This time to inform me my car had been “detected” driving unregistered three days before I’d got my reminder letter.

The fine, $426.

Given, that in almost three decades of driving I’d never before let my rego lapse, I attempted to have the fine waived. While, I didn’t hold out much hope of being successful, I thought my previous good record might be given some consideration.

It wasn’t.

I got a terse response reminding me I’d been detected driving unregistered — which I obviously knew — and the fine was to be paid in full within 28 days. There were no niceties — no “we understand it was an oversight, but this unfortunately, isn’t an excuse.”

Just this: “The issuing authority will not entertain any further applications to review this notice.”

The tone left me feeling like a common criminal. A reckless thug.

It’s true, unlike my friend and colleague, it’s not the first time I’ve erred onto the wrong side of the law: A few years back, on a chilly Mother’s Day, I was caught on camera at 8.17am careening down a suburban street at 52km/h in my trusty old Captiva, running late for my timekeeping duties at a junior footy clash. The dash cost me $409 and left me feeling suitably chastised.

Still, I’m not sure that incident — nor my recent oversight — really qualifies me as some badass Bandidos-type.

And, I’d like to think, if new laws for serial road pests ever happen, I’ll be cut some slack.

Originally published as It’s time to cut well-intentioned citizens some slack

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