Tag Archives: fines

Should COVID-19 fines link to income?

Should the COVID-19 related Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) or on-the-spot fines be linked to your income as speeding fines are in some countries?

After all, a motorcyclist on a $15,000 bike who goes for a leisure ride risks copping the same on-the-spot fine under the Health Act as a rich driver in an expensive supercar.

The issue surfaced today when NSW Police issued a $1000 PIN to the driver of a McLaren 650S worth about $440,000.

This is how Police Media reported the incident:

Just after midnight, officers from Kings Cross Police Area Command stopped a McLaren 650S travelling on Ward Avenue, Potts Point. The driver, a 43-year-old Fairfield man, told officers he was driving to Woolloomooloo to get petrol. After being warned, he informed officers driving is a form of exercise. The man and his 60-year-old passenger were each issued a $1000 PIN. The driver allegedly told police “do what you want mate, I don’t care. This $1000 fine won’t hurt with my $15 million.

Australia’s COVID-19 fines appear to be among the highest in the world, starting at $1000 in NSW.

In Italy, where more than 23,000 have died from coronavirus, the fine for disobeying a stay-at-home order is €200 (about $A340).

Consequently tens of thousands have copped fines.

That could be one of the reasons the spread is so rampant in Italy.

Linking these fines to income could be the answer.

Speeding fines linked to incomespeed camera radar speeding fines rich rich

Similarly, Australia’s speeding fines are among the highest in the world.

According to British website GoCompare, Australians rank sixth in the world with the highest fines and 10th in relation to their average wage.

Ours is supposed to be an egalitarian and fair society, but how can it be fair for a motorist on a low wage to pay the same fine as a millionaire?

The average Aussie speeding fine for 21km/h over the limit is $401. South Australia leads with $771 fine, followed by NSW ($472), Queensland ($435), Western Australia ($400), Victoria ($332) and Tasmania ($163).

Top 10 fines for speeding 20km/h+

  1. Norway $1028
  2. Iceland $750
  3. Estonia $626
  4. United Kingdom $595
  5. Sweden $412
  6. Australia $401
  7. Switzerland $362
  8. Israel $282
  9. Netherlands $278
  10. Canada $275

Rich cop higher fines cops speed speeding radar fast speed camera licence rich

Several countries, such as Britain, Finland and Switzerland, have a system where speeding fines are linked to their wages.

The UK has introduced a system where fines for excessive speeding have increased to 150% of their weekly income. It is capped at £1000 ($A1770), or £2500 ($A4435) if caught on a motorway.

After all, they argue that a rich pro footballer, celebrity or wealthy aristocrat would not be deterred by the average UK speeding fine of £188 ($A333).

Meanwhile, the UK has retained their minimum speeding fine of £100 ($A177) and motorists can chose to reduce that further by attending a speed awareness course.

Switzerland and Finland are much tougher on their rich speeders.

Finland uses a “day fine” system of half the offender’s daily disposable income with the percentage increasing according to their speed over the limit.

In 2002, former Nokia director Anssi Vanjoki copped a $A190,000 fine for riding his motorcycle 75km/h in a 50km/h zone.

But that’s not the world record speeding fine which was handed out in Switzerland in 2010 to a Swedish motorist caught driving at 290km/h.

He was fined 3600 Swiss francs per day for 300 days which worked out to almost $A1.5m.

Click here for our tips on riding in Europe.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Braaap Wholesale faces import penalty

Small-capacity motorcycle wholesale business Braaap Wholesale has gone into liquidation and faces penalties over breaching import regulations.

Braaap Wholesale is the wholesale arm of Braaap Motorcycles which is still operating.

Braaap founder and Braaap Wholesale director Brad Smith and general manager Toby Wilkins pleaded guilty in Launceston Magistrate Court this week to six counts of approval for the placement of identification plates and three counts of importation of vehicles requiring modification

It stems from the import of 82 motorcycles from China in 2016 which were fitted with plates.

Braaap Wholesale took a deposit from a NSW company for the bikes and shipped them to him pending a Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities audit.

An audit of Braaap Wholesale’s Victorian and Tasmanian warehouses also found bikes fitted with parts not specified on the Identification Plate Approval, including having different head lamps, direction indicators, and back and rear break pads. 

Braaap Wholesale’s defence lawyer told court that although the equipment didn’t comply with the Identification Plate Approval (IPA), it complied with Australian Design Rules. 

Magistrate Ken Stanton will hand down his sentence on March 19. 

Toby says he would “prefer not to add personal comment while it’s still before the courts”.

“I can say though – Braaap has the upmost respect for DIRD and the Motor Vehicles Act and have worked tirelessly with the department over the past few years to ensure compliance is met and exceeded,” he says.

“It’s also important for people to be aware that there was no risk to public safety with any of the issues identified.

“The issues before the court were issues that were identified prior to vehicles being released to market and once all relevant checks had been performed the vehicles and parts in question were found to be in accordance with the ADRs and passed.”

Braaap Wholesale

Braap Moto 3
Braaap Moto 3

Toby points out that the entity tied to this issue is not Braaap Motorcycles, but Braaap Wholesale which has been a non-trading entity for some time and went into liquidation in August 2018.

“I’m still with Braaap and we are forging forward,” he says.

“Braaap Wholesale was the wholesale arm of the company that dealt with IPAs and dealers etc.

“Due to the past few years it’s paid its toll on this entity. We are working with the administrators though and plan to pull it back out of liquidation.

“Braaap is still trading and Braaap Frankston is still open, Braaap Vietnam has also been launched and they will have bikes shortly (just finishing off emissions testing). 

Braaap history

Braaap fraud
Braaap ST-250 recalled

In 2005, at the age of 17, Brad sourced factories in China to make bikes to his specifications.

He was named 2008 Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Tasmania’s Young Australian of the Year in 2010 while the company won the Australian Ret­ailers Association’s Small Business of the Year four times.

In 2017, Braaap released a range of new models and in 2018 introduced the electric MotoE electric motorcycle.

Braaap MotoE electric motorcycle
Braaap MotoE electric motorcycle

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MBW helping riders seeking justice

The three most popular articles this year have been about riders successfully obtaining justice either in beating incorrect fines or, in once case, getting a driver fined for road rage. In all cases we are happy to say that Motorbike Writer has played a role.

Lane filter justice

The most popular article was the end result of last year’s most popular article about a driver who put his arm out the window to stop a Newcastle rider legally filtering through traffic.

We published the original article in November 2017 with this video, but police weren’t interested.

But with pressure from the rider and MBW, police eventually fined the driver in January 2018 under Rule 268 (3): Part of body outside vehicle window/door – $325 fine, 3 demerits.

Without the rider’s helmet camera video, the rider might never have won justice.

It is an important example why some state governments should amend laws to allow cameras on helmets.

Standing on footpegs

Incorrect fine Tim Byrne justice
Tim with footpeg fine

The second most popular article was about South Australian police dropping a rider’s fine for standing on the footpegs. 

Adelaide rider Tim Byrne says he was fined for standing up while riding through some roadworks in January 2018 despite the practice being legalised in South Australia in 2016 and added to the Australian Road Rules this year. 

Click here to read about the new ARRs.

Tim and Motorbike Writer contacted the police pointing out their error, yet they refused to withdraw the fine.

Motorbike Writer then set Tim up with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers who took on the case a pro bono (free) basis as a “matter of principle”.

As a result, a police supervisor decided to drop the fine.

Helmet sticker

Rider challenges helmet sticker fine justice
Ted wins on helmet sticker fine

In the third most popular article, Victorian Police withdrew a fine against a rider for not having an external compliance sticker on his Australian-approved motorcycle helmet.

The fact is, you can remove your helmet sticker. Click here to read our advice to riders.

So we suggested rider Alasdair “Ted” Cameron challenge the $371 fine through Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Senior associate Katie Minogue said she was confident her client had a “strong enough case” and was looking forward to their day in court.

However, at the last minute, VicPol have withdrawn the fine.

Once again, this means the issue has not been dealt with in court so no legal precedent has been set.

Motorbike Writer is happy to help you seek justice by promoting your cause. Click here to send us details of your incident.

Most popular

While these were the most popular new articles in 2018, our most popular reads for the year were older advice articles.

Our perennial top read seems to be our tips on washing your motorbike.

Clean wash Ducati GT1000 justice

Second is an article about the correct tyre pressures for your bike, followed by what are the lowest seat heights with a comprehensive list of all motorcycle seat heights.

They are followed by advice on how to avoid a tank slapper, when to replace your helmet and even how and when to do the motorcycle wave!

Top 10 tips for washing your motorcycle

What are correct motorcycle tyre pressures?

What are the lowest motorcycle seat heights?

How to avoid a tank slapper or speed wobble

10 tips for doing the motorcycle wave

When to replace your motorcycle helmet

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com