Angry father fights the system over $1790 fines
By DAVID BANCROFT
THE Roads and Traffic Authority letter to former Seelands resident Kerrie Strong was direct.
It said it had been told not to provide her with a licence or register a vehicle until she had paid $1790 in fines.
But according to her father, Ted Strong, they were fines she knew nothing about and, because she is residing and working in England, will have some difficulty fighting.
Mr Strong said there were two fines ? one for failing to respond to a request to become a juror, and the other for failing vote in a Newcastle by-election.
He said that because his daughter, like many in their late teens and early 20s, moved around a lot, she did not receive her jury notification.
He and Kerrie will fight the fine, but it was the withdrawal of Kerrie's licence that has her father incensed.
"We find it outrageous that the RTA is the appointed debt collect agency for other government instrumentalities," he said.
"I have no drama with the RTA stopping licences for traffic infringements, but to use them as a debt collection agency is outrageous.
"These fines have nothing to do with the RTA."
Mr Strong said he understood that governments needed to collect fines, but should be required to do it in the same way as the rest of the community.
"Everybody should have equal rights under the law," he said.
"If someone owes me money, I can't go to the RTA and get them to cancel their licence.
"This is Gestapo stuff, I think.
"It just encourages people who don't pay fines to drive unregistered vehicles without a licence.
"It is an abomination.
"I don't know what happened with a garnishee of wages or the selling off of assets."
Mr Strong also questioned the size of the fine for failure to vote.
He has written to Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, seeking his assistance.
"We are all aware of the fact that the law is generally an ass, but when it becomes unfair, unjust, sneaky and underhand then MPs of conscience will rise to the occasion," he said.