December 31st, 2008 at 05:20am
I certainly hope it’s a December version of April Fools Day, because this story which I heard on the 5am 2UE news, seemingly from The Daily Telegraph, is just bizarre.
TEENAGERS caught with fake identification will be forced to spend an extra six months on their P-plates.
The move comes as police warn of a thriving blackmarket in fraudulent IDs, with students paying up to $80 for professional-quality altered driver’s licences.
To be introduced early next year, police will pass on offenders’ details to the Roads and Traffic Authority and those already on their provisional plates will have the additional six months automatically added.
It will take their minimum time spent on P-plates to 3½ years.
Uh huh, and what about those who don’t have a licence?
Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene said the penalties would be retrospective, meaning youngsters caught and who are unlicensed will still be forced to spend the extra time on their provisional licences.
Apparently it removes the burden from parents…apparently being responsible for people under the age adulthood is a bad thing.
It is also in response to parents bailing out their children by paying the existing $620 fine on their behalf.
“We’re introducing this sanction because P-platers to be punished for using fake IDs risking your driver’s licence strikes a chord with young people,” Mr Greene said.
“Imposing a fine which might cause some fleeting pain – or even none at all if parents are paying it – but having to stay on your P-plates well after all your mates are on their full licence might just get the message through.”
If they’re so serious about making sure that parents aren’t inconvenienced, why not just make it illegal for parents to pay the fine, with some awful penalty if they are proven to have done so.
I’m not sure that referreing to the great deterrent of our legal system, the fine, as “fleeting pain” was such a good idea either.
All that said, it looks like people who never get a licence, and quite possibly those who move interstate, will never have to deal with the extra half a year of a provisional licence. Could this be a novel approach to curing Sydney’s traffic problems?