An independent legislator is calling for increased penalties for makers of bogus licence plates.
Independent Senator Kevin Boyce said this afternoon that the fine of $5,000 as proposed in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2018, debated by the Upper Chamber today, was far from adequate.
“The second suggestion would be the penalty imposed for Section 34 perhaps should not be in line with the $5,000 provided for the other breaches of the legislation. Given that Section 34 contemplates as proposed someone willingly manufacturing a registration card to make a fraudulent imitation or fraudulent use of,” said Boyce, an attorney-at-law.
While other infractions such as motorists forgetting to renew their insurance could be explained, the act of acquiring a fraudulent imitation of a registration plate should carry a higher penalty, Senator Boyce said.
Boyce also suggested the Government give further consideration to the severe damage and injuries caused to victims of road traffic accidents by uninsured drivers.
“Again for consideration by the Government, the impact caused when persons who drive without insurance and have a resulting accident is sometimes severe. You have innocent third parties who are affected and cannot find recourse against these individuals. It is something the insurance companies have been crying out for. And I believe it warrants further investigation and consideration by the Government,” he said.
Senator Boyce urged the Government to examine the current means of public communication on the new requirements under the amended act.
Like Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn, Boyce also expressed dissatisfaction with proposed definitions of the new commercial vehicle registration.
“The commercial vehicle is now defined under Section 2 of the Bill as a vehicle or trailer that is used for hire, reward or in a business enterprise. The difficulty is that business enterprise has not been defined . . . and it is not defined in the substantive legislation either. How do we differentiate, or what is the litmus test for determining what is a vehicle used for business enterprise?” the lawyer asked fellow lawmakers.
“If I am engaged in a small business and I use my vehicle mainly to go home and to go to that business, but I also use that vehicle to make the occasional delivery, does that mean that that vehicle falls within the realm of business enterprise,” the Independent senator queried.
Boyce asked the Government to streamline the definition for the sake of clarity.
“Why this is important is – imagine you have someone . . . let’s say they bake bread occasionally . . . . They bake break for friends and relatives, but they charge them. And they go in and in the process of delivering that bread . . . and they are stopped by the police and say ‘what type of licence do you have, what type of registration you have . . . you have this bread in your car. Are you in the process of a business enterprise or are you just selling bread as a one-off?” Boyce asked.
He said while the scenario may sound fanciful it is a reality were one to drill down into the issue.