By Stephen Corby and Tony Vermeer
July 16, 2006
THE Roads and Traffic Authority will launch an investigation into the expanding black market for
More than 4000 fines a week are re-issued because motorists snapped on speed cameras or running red
lights claim someone else was driving at the time.
The RTA says the number of motorists illegally trading demerit points to avoid losing their driving licences is
The State Debt Recovery Office says that in the 2005-06 financial year it received 212,000 applications that
resulted in penalties being reissued to a nominated person.
The RTA also plans to crack down on a scam dubbed ?speeding for the rich'', in which people register their
vehicles as company cars and willingly pay larger fines to avoid accruing points.
Motorists lose their licence if they accumulate 12 demerit points in a three-year period.
The RTA said it was aware points-trading was taking place on the Internet.
In one case, a motorcyclist posted a notice on a website offering $100 for someone to take four demerit points
and a month-long ban on his behalf.
This prompted a response suggesting that the points would be worth "at least $500 to $1000 each''.
One woman told The Sunday Telegraph she had paid her mother to take demerit points she had incurred after
a speed camera offence.
"I would have lost my licence, because it would have pushed me over the limit and I needed my car for work,''
the woman said.
A police source, who declined to be named, said points-trading had been going on for years.
"It's quite common, particularly with motorcycle riders, and bikie gangs in particular,'' the source said.
"They sell points to each other, generally through word of mouth, or through their clubs, but they also use
"They use code words instead of just saying `points for sale', so that the forums aren't traced by police.''
Newly appointed RTA chief Les Wielinga has announced an investigation into the practice.
He said he was determined to improve road safety by targeting repeat offenders.
"What's being done is totally inappropriate. It's against road safety and it's unfair to the rest of the community,''
Mr Wielinga said.
"It encourages repeat offenders and people who do the wrong thing on the road.''
Randwick student Peter Clegg, 25, resisted the temptation to try to transfer his demerits despite spending two
years "driving very cautiously'' with only one point left on his licence after a long-weekend speeding ticket.
He said he was determined not to do the wrong thing.
"I was taught your actions have consequences and you have to deal with them.''
Anyone who receives a fine for a traffic-camera offence can nominate someone else as the driver.
But filling out a false statutory declaration can lead to a fraud conviction, with potential fines of $22,000 and
two years' jail.
Traffic police are also incensed by a company-car loophole that allows wealthy individuals to avoid accruing
"Basically, anyone can set up a shelf company and register all their cars as company vehicles. If they get
booked, they claim that they don't know who was driving the car at the time,'' a police source said.
"The RTA charges them a larger fine, but they don't lose any points. Basically, it's a loophole in the law that
favours the filthy rich.
"That's why rich people never lose their licences.''