Consider exemptions for civil 40 km / h fines, Legislative Assembly Committee recommends | Canberra Times

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The ACT government should consider waiving thousands of speeding fines from a newly introduced 40km / h zone in Canberra city center, a parliamentary inquiry has recommended. The Legislative Assembly’s Tripartite Committee on Planning, Transport and Urban Services recommended that fines should be considered where sanctions resulted in financial difficulties. The committee made four recommendations, which included better warnings ahead of future speed zone changes and a permanent system of fines for vulnerable people. A 40 km / h zone was introduced in the Civic in March 2021, and speeding fines were issued from the beginning of July. More than 1,200 motorists were caught speeding by the cameras the first day they were shifted across the lower limits. Several fines were issued to 3279 motorists between July 5 and July 31, while 15,195 motorists received one fine. There were more than 27,000 speeding tickets issued by cameras in the new zone – on sections of Northbourne Avenue, London Circuit and Barry Drive – between 5 July and 8 August, requiring significant efforts to deal with. In the first four days of operation with the new speed limit, the cameras recorded an average of 391 violations per day. The committee recommended that the ACT government continue to expand its 40 km / h speed zones, but transport authorities should issue individual warnings in the first month following significant changes in the speed zone. The ACT should also consult on the adoption of an NSW system to waive traffic fines issued to persons classified as vulnerable due to financial difficulties, mental causes or otherwise, the committee said. “The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consult with Care Incorporated, Canberra Community Law, Legal Aid and ACTCOSS to investigate permanent reasons for waiving traffic fines where the individual is a vulnerable person,” the committee’s report said. published Friday. Transport Minister Chris Steel said Friday that the ACT government would consider the committee’s recommendations and respond to the Legislative Assembly within four months. “I thank the committee for its support for the expansion of 40 km / h zones in built-up areas and their recognition that the government’s communication on the speed limit change in the city was thorough,” Mr Steel said. “The government has listened to feedback, and we have increased the size of the signage at the entrance to the 40 km / h zones in the city – in addition to the required standards. We are also implementing additional sidewalk markings.” The committee’s inquiry was prompted by petitions to the Legislative Assembly sponsored by the opposition’s spokesman for transport, Mark Parton. Parton said last year that the bad news ahead of the speed zone change led to an “extremely perverse result”. The committee’s inquiry, which received 50 inquiries, found that government communication “was thorough”, but warnings to individual drivers should have been issued. ACT road officials had recommended that the government write to all authorized drivers in Canberra to inform them about the new 40 km / h speed zone, but the idea was rejected by the ministers. READ MORE: Minister of Better Regulation Tara Cheyne rejected the proposal, rejecting a plan to issue warning letters to those taken for driving too fast during an amnesty period. “Each warning letter would cost more than $ 1 per letter in postage and stationery. In order to send warning letters, Access Canberra staff would have been required to first convict each offender of retrieving data from the Rego ACT system to allow completion of the warning letters. with personal information, “Cheyne said in response to a question of notice in the Legislative Assembly last year. “As a result, staff costs are estimated to have been in the vicinity of $ 300,000, including significant redirection of resources.” Traffic fines were expected to increase by more than $ 32 million last year, with the increase driven by fines in a new 40 km / h zone in the city center, where violations “exceeded all expectations”. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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