The New South Wales government will block a legal loophole that currently allows drivers of company cars to avoid losing points on their licences for committing traffic offences.
Roads minister Duncan Gay explained laws introduced into parliament this week would see companies fined up to $16,500 if they did not name the driver who was caught by a traffic camera.
“The NSW government is putting companies on notice that if they do the wrong thing and fail to nominate a driver they will face increased fines,” Gay said in a statement.
“If the companies do the right thing and nominate offending drivers, they will avoid facing these additional measures.”
Currently, companies who do not nominate a driver are fined in excess of $1000 per offence, and no demerit points are issued.
Under the new legislation, fines for penalty notices in company names will increase, with companies to be fined five times more than an individual would pay for offences captured by cameras. Court fees will also increase five-fold if the issues are taken to court.
The loophole hit the headlines in 2010 when a BMW belonging to celebrity agent Max Markson’s company racked up offences totalling 15 demerit points, but the company instead elected to pay around $5500 in fines, dodging the points.
At the time, the State Debt Recovery Office said it issued approximately 50 fail-to-nominate penalties every day.