Posted traf­fic fines are just not fine

Bites, scratches, fail­ure

Sunday News - - NEWS - CRAIG HOYLE

‘‘If their in­ten­tion was to have it as a pet, it was a se­ri­ous mis­take. Squir­rel mon­keys like to be with oth­ers, they don’t like to be with hu­mans at all,’’ she said.

‘‘If they were scared, which they would’ve been, they would have scream­ing and bit­ing. It’s ac­tu­ally il­le­gal to have these as pets so they’d be dif­fi­cult to sell.’’

A po­lice spokesper­son said staff were in the ‘‘very early stages’’ of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ex­am­in­ing the en­clo­sure. They were ask­ing for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to ring Wellington Po­lice on 04 381 2000 or Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111. IF you’ve had a traf­fic ticket turn up in the post you might have had your hu­man rights breached, ac­cord­ing to a Kiwi le­gal ex­pert. Bill Hodge Bill Hodge, a law pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Auck­land, said the fact that since April 2016 po­lice have posted traf­fic tick­ets, rather than is­su­ing them at the road­side, was ‘‘not ac­cept­able’’.

This has caused prob­lems for mo­torists such as Reg Jarvis, whose ticket was sent to the wrong ad­dress after he was pulled over for not wear­ing a seat­belt in Au­gust last year.

Jarvis only be­came aware of the ticket when he started re­ceiv­ing re­minder no­tices – later be­ing slapped with a $30 penalty for late pay­ment.

Po­lice in­sisted he had been served with his ticket and was li­able for pay­ment.

The Land Trans­port Act spec­i­fies an in­fringe­ment no­tice may be served by post­ing it to the per­son who com­mit­ted the of­fence.

When ques­tioned about what hap­pened if a ticket was sent to the wrong ad­dress, po­lice said they still con­sid­ered the ticket to have been served.

Hodge said that was in­cor­rect.

‘‘It’s just wrong to say that a per­son has been given no­tice when some­thing has been sent to the wrong ad­dress,’’ he said.

‘‘A good lawyer would say it’s a vi­o­la­tion of the Bill of Rights. We can’t an­swer some­thing when we don’t know the charges against us.’’

Su­per­in­ten­dent Steve Gre­ally, na­tional road polic­ing man­ager, said driv­ers were re­spon­si­ble for con­firm­ing their ad­dress when they were pulled over.

How­ever in a com­plaint to the Po­lice In­fringe­ment Bureau Jarvis said po­lice al­ready had his cor­rect ad­dress ‘‘and I con­firmed it to the of­fi­cer who stopped me’’.

Po­lice later apol­o­gised to Jarvis for us­ing the in­cor­rect ad­dress, with­out pro­vid­ing an ex­pla­na­tion as to how the er­ror oc­curred.

Gre­ally said the move to elec­tronic in­fringe­ment no­tices gave of­fi­cers more time to en­gage with mo­torists.

‘‘The idea be­hind this is in­stead of con­cen­trat­ing on is­su­ing the phys­i­cal ticket there and then, it al­lows the of­fi­cer to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the per­son about the risks as­so­ci­ated with their be­hav­iour on the road,’’ he said.

Steve Gre­ally.

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