Has your company received a penalty notice for failing to nominate?

MELBOURNE/AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 2: Closeup of a Speed Camera / Safety Camera located on a freeway near Epping in Melbourne, Australia.

If one of your company vehicles has been detected committing a camera detected offence (such as speeding, traffic light, bus lane, TWay) you will be sent a penalty notice from State Debt Recovery with the opportunity to nominate the responsible person for the vehicle or else your company could be liable for failing to nominate.

This is because a company cannot drive a vehicle. Some considered that company directors and managers were avoiding the demerit points because the relevant vehicle was not registered in the name of a natural person. This led to more severe penalties. The maximum penalty a court can order is $11,000! Costs are often also sought. This could even put some companies out of business.

If there is no nomination with a penalty notice and subsequent penalty reminder notice (sometimes enforcement orders apply, which may be annulled under the Fines Act), then the company will receive a penalty notice for failing to nominate.

However, the good news is that there may be a defence in these matters, depending on the unique set of facts of the offence.

Some possible defences include sending a statutory declaration to the State Debt Recovery that was not received as provided by section 186 of the Road Transport Act. Of course it would be necessary to put on cogent evidence to substantiate this. Or your company may not with reasonable diligence be able to ascertain the name and address of the driver as provided by section 187 of the Road Transport Act. Again, evidence of the company procedure for keeping records of whom has possession of which car can be critical. Or the vehicle may have been disposed of, stolen or illegally taken or used. Receipts, police reports can be necessary here.

If you receive a penalty notice for failing to nominate and would like to know what options may be available to you, why not contact me NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION.

 

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Anthony Stewart, Solicitor
ANTHONY R A STEWART LAW PRACTICE

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