Tag Archives: penalty

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

Appeal call for rider-raging driver

An appeal could be launched against a Canberra motorist who received a “light penalty” for twice swerving dangerously at legally lane-filtering motorcyclists.

The driver, Jake Searle, 28, had been charged with two counts of driving with intent to menace.

He faced maximum penalties of more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of these charges.

However, the charges were downgraded as he was a first offender.

Searle was released on a one-year good behaviour order and disqualified from driving for three months. He also avoided a fine.

Call for appeal

ACT Shadow Attorney General and Triumph Street Twin rider Jeremy Hansen is calling for an appeal.

“As a fellow rider I am very concerned by any incident that could potentially endanger the life of a motorcyclist,” he says.

“I understand the view that this sentence does not meet community expectations and will write to the ACT Director of Prosecutions to ask if they intend to appeal.”

Meanwhile, ACT Police say they are “waiting for a response from the relevant person/area” regarding an appeal.

We also contacted ACT Minister for Corrections and Justice Shane Rattenbury, Police Minister Mick Gentleman and Minister for Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay for comment on the sentence.

None has yet replied.

The Australian Motorcycle Council says it is “of concern when a driver uses their vehicle in a premeditated manner, as a weapon to harm others”.

“There appears to be little distinction between the quality of actions of this driver and those of the driver who killed pedestrians in Melbourne, although a difference in the scale or degree,” the AMC says.

Menacing videos

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 2018. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing the same driver swerving at another rider.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges menacing
The rider in the second incident

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering was introduced in NSW five years ago and is now legal in all states and territories.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing our “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

This motorist was fined $325 and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com