Cycling in Sydney Australia
This is a hypothetical discussion, by way of follow-up to Sue Abbott's story where a sheriff was sent to collect her bikes (closed)
I'm wondering what happens if you get dinged for running the Union St lantern which doesn't work.
I presume that in most cases they will just blow by fining you anyway. But if a ticket is issued and the fine is unpaid what exactly does the State Debt Recovery office do?
I'm fairly sure they don't send a goon to your home overseas in order to half-inch your bicycle. Or do they?
I always thought there is a strong “can-I-be-arsed?” factor in situations like that that makes it more likely to for such people to get warnings.
In my experience officers seem to have a large amount of freedom when it comes to issuing tickets vs giving a warning. Since it may well be more difficult or impossible to determine if a non-local address is likely to be truthfully given, why bother going to the effort?
I think so too.
My real question is around what happens if they do issue a ticket, assuming that now and again they issue one to a non-resident. Which they might never do for something so trivial as a cycling offence as you confirm.
A related question I'm wondering about is whether they ever put demerit points on a NSW drivers license for a cycling offense. I know they can, but do they?
Not sure about what happens here, but I had a traffic fine from Florence in Italy. Parked in a white spot one away from a blue spot. White spot is a residents only spot, blue is the meter spot. Got a E40 fine or something. Annoyed as I had specifically walked back at lunch to feed the meter. That was a waste. Asked the hotel concierge that night if I should worry about it and theatrical Italian style he grabbed the fine, went "pppfffffttttt" and tore it up and put it in the bin. I took that as being not to worry about it.
About 12 months later notice an 18 Euro charge from Hertz on my credit card. This was the fee for passing my details to an international recovery office. Turns out they DO now follow up international visitor fines, with a particular passion now. So now in the middle of the GFC and a now mega crap exchange rate with all these fees and penalties to third party debt recovery agents I end up paying AUD$200. Not so worried about waking up next to a horses head if I didn't pay, but rather the extreme crapness that could come from a 20 hour flight there (I go back often) only to be turned away at the border for some unresolved criminal matter (doesn't show up what it is). Screw that.
Did almost feel like sending the bill to the hotel concierge though.
Long story short - its a small world these days, and people follow stuff up now. Unlike the good old days. If laid back Italy does it, fair chance we would chase these things up too.
Demerit points for a cycling offence? I was told when being cautioned for speeding on the bike that yes, demerit points would apply if you had a drivers licence. I was more than 15 over on a double points weekend too (gravity assisted in a 50 zone). That would have mega sucked. I suppose you could cajole the officer into giving you a cycling specific offence (no points) like 'riding furiously'. A fair bit of truth to that in my example ;)
It certainly true that authorities follow you up. For the cycling offence of course there's no rego plate so it won't follow the offender in the way your Italian one tracked thru Hertz. I'm sure the debt recovery office will keep records for a long time though, it's a question of what they might do in practice since they cannot cancel a license/rego or grab your stuff.
Where I am going is what people might be able do to avoid the worry of footpath/lantern/foam nasties, if they happen to have a foreign residence. Which isn't quite the same as saying they reside overseas exclusively.
Your last para is good oil. That tells me to be grateful that they have forced me to consolidate all privileges on to a single licence, and to hand in the local one for cancellation. It sounds like NSW might have try to put points on my NSW licence if I got dinged for a cycling matter, and now all they can do is stockpile points in the hope that I might one day get another one.
All the rego did was allow them to get my name and address. Hertz gave my name and address as all the commune had was the car rego.
If the SDRO already has the correct name and address anyway (ie a fake one wasn't given at the time the fine was received) then they have all they need to chase anyway - rego doesn't matter.
If the address given and noted on the infringement leads to a dead end though (ie there is no possibility of anyone getting the overseas forwarding address from say a local address) then that might put a stop on the trail. But if you have a uniquish name and say post on social media then a few seconds of Google searching by a recovery agent might establish some leads.
But surely in this case (Martin G running the malfunctioning Union St light) the energy of chasing around the world for $50 would be expended on fixing the light signals.....no?
Of course it would!
Anyway the upshot of this discussion is that they'll be chasing me around areas of national park where cycling and walking are deemed worthy of fines.
Better that than be run over by driver or shot in the lands that are handy for amateur gun lovers.
If you made a big fuss about it, then they would put a "head on the village pike" and pursue you to the ends of the earth.
Most of the time, they wouldn't be bothered.
Like that time when that NZ couple got the money from the bank through a banking error. They split the country. Had they just put it into their mortgage, or bought a big ticket item,without telling anyone. The bank probably would have let them keep some of it.
Because they split, and made a song and dance of it, they are now sitting in gaol.
It may be a problem if they apply for another visa to Australia.
Not a problem for me, but that's a good point.
I wonder whether state matters get taken that far, visas being a federal thing.
Perhaps if you have been really naughty and there's an outstanding warrant on account of a failure to appear in court.
Ugh, I accidently deleted my response. Fines/warrants would come up on your police check and they would be considered a debt in Australia. If it's one fine I doubt it would be a problem, if you racked up lots of fines/warrants it would probably be an issue.
That's good to know actually. I'm not on a visa but am checked periodically by AFP.
Racking up fines is unlikely, since I'm well practiced at playing wascally wabbit.
If I did get just one I wouldn't pay it. So this is good to know.