Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warning: Don't lend your car in NSW, Australia - The SDRO will get YOU! (not the driver)


On the 25th of January 2010, a close friend of mine was driving one of my cars through Parramatta (Sydney) and managed to get a speeding fine for "Exceed Speed Limit 10km/h and Under - Camera Detected", which is the lowest speeding offence where I live, in New South Wales, Australia.

This isn't a major issue, and after showing her the $84.00 fine that I received in late February or early March from the State Debt Recovery Office (The fines division of the Office of State Revenue), she was more than happy to pay for it and accept responsibility, which included 2 demerit points.

I contacted the State Debt Recovery Office to ask for a statuary declaration form, which is required when providing information on the driver (if the driver is not the registered owner of the car), and they informed me that I would receive a reminder notice soon, with a Statuary Declaration attached.

May 11th, I receive a letter from the NSW Roads & Traffic Authority stating that they will be suspending my license for 3 months, as of the 11th June 2010, signed by the licence review unit manager as the offense is now for 8 demerit points.

I called the SDRO on May 11th several times, and the phone system indicated that they were having temporary issues and were unable to answer calls.
I again called the SDRO on May 12th and explained what had happened, to which I was told that as I had not handed in a Statuary Declaration, the fine had been processed and my only option of appeal was to send in further forms for an annulment, which would cost me a processing fee of $50 - almost the price of the original fine, and that it was not guaranteed to be annulled. The customer service representative tried to tell me that since I had moved, the mail was probably lost. I tried to explain that I've got mail redirection and I check the mailbox at my previous address regularly. She informed me that she will be sending me the annulment form, and another form to request the removal of the processing fee.

Today, May 13th, I receive a letter from the SDRO, but it's not the application form I was expecting, It's an enforcement order. Basically it's a fine, and an extra $50 for the privilege of having my licence cancelled.


Now, for them not sending me the statuary declaration form, I get to pay a fine of $134, a $50 processing fee that might not do anything, I lose 8 points on my licence which means that I will lose my license for three months (my class of license allows 7 demerit points as a maximum), and a mark against my perfect driving record - all for something I didn't do.

That's the end of my rant, but I'm somewhat annoyed,
JD

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