Negotiating the fine – part II

11 11 2012

It was an odd place to have a road block – on a  relatively quiet road on the way to the gym. The police also seemed a bit edgy, nervous almost. And there were no senior cops around either which made me more than a little suspicious.

“You are not displaying your insurance disc” one policeman said.

“I don’t have to” I replied.

“Yes you do” came the answer.

“Then please show me the legislation” I countered. I was well within my rights.

The document was sourced and he pointed to the relevant paragraph which clearly stated that along with a driver’s licence it was only necessary to show proof of insurance at a police station within 7 days of being asked to do so. I pointed to the sentence that said this.

“No, but we need to fine you” the cop replied purposely missing the point.

“OK” I said, staying calm and very polite, “but I need to get myself a copy of this document so that I can check it up for myself”.

“You will need to go to the government printer” was the reply.

“Of course I will, but I need to copy down the title of this document so I know which one to ask for” I said still being reasonable.

I duly copied down the details of the relevant act. “How much is the fine?”

“Five dollars” he replied.

“Please show me the schedule of the fines” I asked, dragging out the process as long as I could. Five dollars, this was definitely odd. The standard fine for just about any sort of infringement is $20. Well, that’s not what the law says but what the cops ask for knowing that most people will rather pay than challenge it in court. The fine schedule was produced and the fine was indeed $5 though how this tied in with the production of the evidence of insurance at the police station was not at all clear. “Here” I said holding up a $10 note, “I will need some change and a receipt”.

“You may go” the policeman said. “No need to pay the fine”.

I did as I was told and drove off to the gym. I came back along the same route later confident that they would be gone and they were. Maybe I got off because I stuck to my rights and they got concerned with all the questions that I was asking. I did notice that another driver on the other side of the road was paying but then they do tend to be harder on women. Cleaning up the corruption is this country is going to be one very tall order – assuming that the political process ever gets that far.



One response

11 11 2012

Nice one! You are lucky the fine didn’t increase to $10.

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