The NSW Government has made some big changes to the State’s fines system in a bid to make it easier for people to pay or resolve their fines. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or parking fine, going forward, NSW residents will find it’s simpler and fairer when it comes to paying or resolving fines.
Pay Fines in Instalments
The Fines Amendment Act 2019 came into effect on July 1, 2020. In a drastic overhaul of the Fines Act 1996, the NSW Government has made some sweeping changes to make the fines system simpler and fairer. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet assured the public that the changes were made to make the system fairer, while maintaining the deterrent factor by retaining all other penalties. So, for instance, if you were speeding, you will still receive the full demerit points but you can choose to pay the fine incurred in instalments via a payment plan (an enforcement fee may apply).
Time Restrictions Have Been Relaxed
Under the new system, when you receive a fine, you will have more time to decide on your course of action whether it’s requesting a review, opting to face the matter in court or nominating the responsible driver.
Opt to Have Your Fine Sent to You Digitally
You can now choose to have the fine notice sent to you digitally instead of through post.
Individuals in Financial Hardship Can Apply for A Fine Reduction
Those in financial hardship and who receive Government benefit at the time the fine is incurred may be considered for a 50% reduction in their fine amount. However, there are certain exceptions to this:
- You need to apply for a reduction before the fine is overdue.
- Reductions do not apply for fines issued by a court, jury duty fines, fines issued to a body corporate or for voting related fines.
- The Commissioner of Fines Administration reserves the right to deny fine reductions for serious or significant offences as they see fit.
As mentioned earlier, these changes are in relation to the fines only and have no effect on demerit points and other penalties. The reforms have been put in place to ensure people are still held accountable for their actions and made to face the consequences, but without the acute financial burden. By providing them with flexible, simpler ways to handle the fines, the Government is providing some much-needed support for the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community.