Transport law specialist Rob Davies has been studying the practice of ticketing motorists for minor crimes for several years, and he believes the practice is largely ineffective.
“We’re seeing more people being ticketed for minor traffic offences in the capital,” Mr Davies said.
Mr Davies said he has heard from several drivers who say they have to pay the $200 fine because they don’t have enough time to collect their tickets, and the other drivers who have had their fines reduced.
He said motorists should be encouraged to use the tickets as a last resort if they’re unsure whether or not they will be able to pay.
The Department of Transport’s ticketing policy says motorists can use a $200 ticket as a “last resort” to pay a fine if they don.
When drivers pay a $20 penalty, they must also pay a “fine waiver”.
Mr Davies said motorists are often reluctant to pay fines because they fear they might not be able pay the fine if caught.
But Mr Davies argues that if motorists can avoid fines by paying the ticket in the future, the penalties should be more heavily penalised.
If a ticket is for a minor offence and you pay the penalty, the ticket is effectively a “ticket to jail”, he said.
“A person who has been issued a $2 fine for a $5 ticket could potentially be jailed for a minimum of five years for this offence.”
Mr Davis said he believed the use of tickets was one of the “greatest barriers” for motorists in the nation.
“The main reason why motorists don’t use fines is because they are reluctant to get caught,” he said, adding that drivers were often afraid to use them because of the risk of being caught.
“People don’t think about that.”