Police quietly drop 1825 expired flare penalty notices (but how will they refund you?)

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Police have been issuing wrong penalties for 10 years! 1825 penalty notices from last decade will be refunded (assuming they can find you).

 

Expired flares
Up in smoke: all that revenue from 1825 mistakenly issued penalty notices for expired flares will have to be refunded. Talk about "burning a hole in your pocket". 

Today’s hot story (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) is that Victoria Police has quietly announced it will withdraw 1825 penalty notices for offences related to expired flares.

The reason? It seems that the penalty notices to those almost 2000 people were issued incorrectly. Everyone who got done should have instead been given a summons to appear in court.

But wait, there’s more. According to the announcement by the Vic Police media unit: "Victoria Police and Maritime Safety Victoria are in the process of contacting the 1825 people who have been incorrectly issued with these infringement notices since December 2005."

You read that correctly. This has been going on for 10 years.

But wait, there’s more still. The media release goes on to say that "Water Police and Maritime Safety Victoria officers became aware of the error in May last year and a review was initiated."

So not only has this been going on for 10 years, but it’s now May 2016 — a full year after the problem was identified. Better late than never, eh?

How much effort would one have to go to prove one received a penalty? How will the money be reimbursed? Will the money be sent in the post or do we have to line up at Vic Roads? And what if the recipient of the fine has gone interstate, left the country, is deceased, or otherwise?

Either way, Vic Police says no further action will be taken on those expired fines. It probably beats fronting court.

 

Here’s the glorious full-length media release from the Victoria Police media unit.

Flare infringement notices to be withdrawn

"Victoria Police is in the process of withdrawing 1825 penalty infringement notices that were incorrectly issued to boat and personal watercraft operators for safety flare offences. 
An internal review found that the infringements had been wrongly issued for possessing expired flares while operating a vessel. Under legislation at the time, the correct penalty for this offence was a charge and summons to appear before a court.
Water Police and Maritime Safety Victoria officers became aware of the error in May last year and a review was initiated. 
Victoria Police and Maritime Safety Victoria are in the process of contacting the 1825 people who have been incorrectly issued with these infringement notices since December 2005
All fines that have been paid will be refunded in full, and no further action will be taken. 
Flares hold a serviceable life of three years. Vessel operators must ensure flares are current and obtain new ones if their use-by-dates are reached. "

 

Your say

Have you been stung by this? How will you be claiming your refund? Leave a comment below.

 

 


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