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VIC Toll fines when working for a company

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Beza, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. I was wondering if any has any advice for me on a bit of a situation I got involved in.

    So, I was employed for a motorcycle magazine here in Victoria and part of my role was road testing bikes and writing reviews on them.

    The magazine or the bike company always paid any road tolls as part of the testing.

    About a year ago four over due fines turned up on a certain bike manufactures desk and they where forwarded onto the mag I worked for to pay.

    The bike manufacturer stated they never received the initial fine and didn't want to pay the overdue fine which was about $140 each.

    So the mag editor asked for my licence and for me to sign a form to put the toll in my name, they said it would be easier for them to write and letter and fight the fine - as in they are happy to pay the initial fine, but not the over due one.

    I didn't giver this to much thought at the time as I knew if they lost they'd still pay up regardless, or so I thought.

    A couple of months later the magazine was sold to another publisher, I left the company and did't think to much about it until I received another late notice.

    I contacted the editor, sent him the fines, and filled out a form to make him be able to speak on my behalf as he has all the information at hand.

    We filled out a revocation form and wrote a letter explaining the circumstances.

    I received a letter last week saying the revocation was refused and now my choices are to pay the fine and go to court.

    The editor has since retired and he was my main point of contact.

    So where does this leave me, should I get a lawyer or go to court and represent myself to explain my situation?

    Can I make the editor, motorcycle company come to court as well to explain the situation too?

    Any useful advice would be helpful before I go back to the publisher and explain the situation and worse case they refuse to pay up I'd just like to know my options.

  2. i would write a letter myself
    if that didnt work i would let it go to court and have the editor supenered
    hope fully the court finds in your favour or just makes you pay the original toll
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I spoke to the editor who, turns out still does some work for the mag. He's seeking legal advice to see if it's worth taking to court otherwise he's confident the publisher will pay the fine if it's not.
  4. yea maybe
    dont leave your fate in others hands
    • Like Like x 1
  5. If this is a Breeze/Citylink fark up don't deal with Citylink, they are useless muppets.

    I've had issue with moto Tolls and Breeze have always gone into bat for me to put Citylink right.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Hmm, I'm a bit confused, there is no dispute that you rode the bike on the toll road, you have passed on your licence details, the tolls/fines have not been paid, and the excuse is that there is a sweetheart deal between you and your employers..... so how is it this is the toll companies fault ?

    If it was me I'd be paying the fine and try to get reimbursed from the magazine, as I don't see the court letting you off, but good luck and I hope it works out for you.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. In the end it's your name on the toll account.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. I think your act of good faith will be your undoing. you were under no duress to hand over your licence and to agree to accepting the tolls/fines and have since changed your mind or so it may appear. unless they have a change of conscience I think you may be screwed. good luck!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. So we are looking at $600 bucks of fines or about 1 hours rates for a half decent lawyer?
    I'd just pay the fines to save the legal and possible credit rating repercussions against your name then download the template and send a Letter of demand with a 30 day deadline to the relevant department.

    This is loose change for a business and they are penny pinching and making it worse stalling the process out.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. The dispute is that no one received the first toll notice, so the toll fine would of been say, $10. Now the toll is $1200.
  11. Good luck with it, but it sure sounds like a huge too hard basket that will more than likely end in tears.
  12. #12 Returned, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    If you were the user of the toll way, and you knew you had used a toll way and you knew tolls had to be payed - I think you may find a magistrate/prosecutor would ask you why did you not take the accountability and responsibility for your actions to ensure that the tolls were paid via the prescribed processes. Under the law you cannot delegate your accountability and responsibility for your actions to others.

    The manufacturer and/or publisher may been slack in handling the toll invoices etc as per whatever (verbal?) agreements you had with them but that is an issue between them and you. Your problem at the moment is that you have done something, which you knew you did, and did not take any accountability and responsibility for it, and the fines have escalated.

    There do not appear to be any special or executional circumstances - you knew you used the tollway. ( It may have been different if there was a hidden speed camera or red light camera and did not know you had incurred some form of liability)

    If the magistrate wants to drive home the lesson of taking responsibility for you actions you may end up with a recorded conviction. Personally I would pay the fine and try to claim it back from the publisher. ( Note, it makes no difference to the publisher if you get a conviction or not)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Pretty sure that argument has been used in court before today, however I don't think the success rate has been too high. You're more optomistic than I would be thinking that's enough to convince the Magistrate, but you never know he might be in an exceptionally good and forgiving mood.
  14. #14 Beza, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2016
    I think you've missed my point, no one is denying that I used the tollway. When I sign for a bike, depending on the bike manufacturer it states who will pay any tolls, either they will or the publisher (my employer).

    The issue at hand is, no one received the initial toll letter which either party was and still is happy to pay for. The argument is paying all the late fees which compound over time even though we sent our first letter as soon as we received the first late payment notice, some 8 months ago, they keep on adding to the cost until after they have reviewed our case, which started about 8 months ago.

    I haven't delegated my accountability, what I did do is give my employer who has all the facts, the power to liaise on my behalf between the Civic Compliance and the Sheriffs office. So I've followed all the procedures to the letter of the law from the moment we received the first toll notice - which was an overdue notice.

    Since yesterday my ex-employer is seeking legal advice on whether to take the case to court or if they should just pay the fine. I'm just caught in the middle of something which at first seemed a straight forward case of we didn't receive the initial toll notice, bike company will sign an affidavit stating this, so why can't we just pay the initial toll of $10 - seemed fair to me.

    I'm only optimistic as we test ride a lot of bikes and we always pay the toll invoices, the company would have a very good track record of this. it's not like we're an individual trying to get out of a one off toll fine. It's not so much the money but the principal of the matter that we have done nothing wrong and are getting fined excessively for it.
  15. Dude.......when they brought up the tolls and asked for your license I would have said "What tolls? What bike? I don't own a bike of that make and model.....must have been someone else."

    You talking about Rapid bikes magazine?

    The editor there recently left, and the mag was recently sold to a new publisher.

    I'm a subscriber and keenly awaiting the next iteration of the mag, I like it.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Yes I can see where you are coming from and wish you luck with your day in court, maybe your past record will be looked upon favourably, but I don't think the "didn't receive the notice" argument will hold too much water.

    BTW I carry a spare toll dongle and I know from my accounts that they can be triggered sitting inside a tank bag . Might be worth carrying one round with you if you are on the road testing lots of different bikes that don't have their own Toll accounts, this way you can get the company/magazine to re-imburse you without all this drama.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. This has become quite a problem in recent years. I can well remember the days, when a first notice had to be a registered letter as proof of delivery. Now any government department or anyone else can send you a notice with snail mail and it is considered to be delivered, even if it ends up in someone else's letterbox. I just got a final demand and threat of collection from the ATO, because I never received their first notice. Equally a parking inspector can put a ticket on your car and if it blows away it has been delivered and you will cop the late payment fine.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. The first problem of all is that this is not how the system works. You set up an account or buy a day pass. It's not intended for people to just use the road and wait to be identified and penalised.
    Foolish to use the tollway on someone else's bike without paying. It's caused drama for the owner and now it's come home to roost. I appreciate that the employer should bear the bulk of the blame here.
  19. What I was trying to say, if you use a tollway it is generally your responsibility and accountability, as the vehicle driver, to make sure the tolls are paid. It does not matter if someone else is supplying the money and the administrative process of payment. If it does not happen you are responsible for the outcome. Likewise, if is taken to court and CityLink shows it printed and mailed the invoice you lose big time with a conviction, not the publisher or manufacturer.

    You have a lot of trust in your ex- employer who could have settled the matter ages ago for a lesser amount. It is now $1200 - how much do you think they will want to spend on legal fees. Are they really looking after YOUR interests?