Increased penalties for corporations who fail to nominate a driver for camera recorded traffic offences in a bid to tackle the circumvention of fines and demerit points came into force in July 2021.
If an individual commits a camera-detected traffic offence with a company car, such as speeding or using a mobile phone while driving, a fine will be issued to the registered operator. The registered operator, often the company, must nominate a driver within the stipulated time frame to avoid further penalties.
However, “we see approximately 7,000 offences a year where the fine goes to the business and the business fails to nominate who was driving the vehicle,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance notes. This essentially permits dangerous drivers to avoid punishment for their behaviour and companies to continue enable their employees to “flout the law.”
As a result, under the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (NSW), the maximum penalty for failing to nominate driver and supplying licence details has doubled from $11,000 to $22,000.
Constance believes that this will deter dangerous driving behaviour and ensure that all individuals are held accountable and punished for their actions.
It is unlikely that the occurrence of the camera recorded driving offence can be disputed, as cameras are presumed to be accurate and reliable. Nonetheless, as per section 188(1) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), if a corporation did not know and could not with reasonable diligence ascertained the nomination details, a defence, which is largely dependent on the facts of the incident, may arise.
In light of the amendments, corporations should be vigilant and ensure that drivers are nominated, and details are supplied to Revenue NSW to avoid paying hefty fines.
Should you have any questions regarding your camera detected driving offence, please call our office at 02 9653 9466 to speak with our Warwick Anderson.