An increasing number of TWU members are being caught driving unregistered work vehicles since the scrapping of windscreen car registration stickers in 2013.
This includes employee-drivers and owner drivers and those forgetting to register their own family vehicles.
The situation obviously becomes a hot issue when employee-drivers are fined as a result of their employer not re-registering company vehicles.
The fact that the boss forgot to do it is not an excuse that will stop a police officer from issuing a ticket or docking points. The fine for driving an unregistered 3, 4 or 5-axle motor vehicle is $1,427. That sort of range could be devastating for any professional driver.
And then there are the insurance problems and who gets charged with what should the vehicle be in an accident or damage property.
Rightly or wrongly, the law always places the onus on the driver to ensure that the vehicle is able to be driven on a public road. Victoria Legal Aid advise that, should the matter reach court, a ‘reasonable excuse’ could be a provable emergency but “it is not a defence to say that the vehicle did not belong to you”.
“The law says you must ensure that any vehicle that you drive is registered, even if you do not own it.”
Many of those who have received fines have claimed to have simply forgotten without the constant reminder to pay stuck to the windscreen.
The TWU encourages any employee driver members, whether they drive a vehicle allocated solely to themselves or whether part of a fleet of vehicles, to check the registration.
This can be done by having your employer provide evidence that vehicles have been registered or by doing a simple registration status update yourself through VicRoads at https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
The VicRoads service is for all vehicles, not just work-related, so it is a good idea for all members to ensure their private vehicles are also registered.