Dodgy marketplace act that could cost you $11,000
Desperate drivers are illegally paying others to take on their demerit points to avoid losing their licence.
Countless black market advertisements are appearing on online marketplaces where the seller offers to claim they were driving when penalty points were incurred, in exchange for money.
The sellers are often on international driving licences and so can only be fined in Australia, and not given points for driving infringements. As a result, once they pay the fine, on behalf of the real driver, there is no record of the offence.
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Drivers who have lost demerit points due to speeding fines or using a mobile phone, can charge exorbitant fees to lie but the scam is illegal and both parties can be charged if the lie is discovered.
In Sydney alone, half a dozen advertisements for the illegal act have begun popping up.
“Demerit points, $70 each... please message me,” one ad on Facebook marketplace read.
“Message me with what fine, and how many demerit points you need ... I can sort it,” another ad said.
“$150 per point, done in minutes,” a third ad reads.
When contacted by 7NEWS.com.au, one seller said he was being inundated with messages about his listing.
“People message me all the time saying ‘wanna buy?’” he said.
Other sellers say they have an international licence and therefore don’t accrue any demerit points under the NSW system, instead only being penalised with fines.
It is not illegal for a registered car-owner to transfer demerit point penalties to another driver if they were the one actually behind the wheel at the time of an offence.
However, falsely nominating another person for these offences is against the law.
And it carries a hefty penalty.
“There are strong penalties in place for a person who falsely nominates another person as being responsible for driving offences,” Tara McCarthy, deputy secretary for safety, environment and regulation at Transport for NSW, told 7NEWS.com.au.
In NSW, the fine for an individual who falsely nominates another person is $723.
If convicted of the offence by a court, the maximum penalty that the court may impose is $11,000.
The fine is even steeper for corporations, however, who can face a penalty of $1528. If convicted, the maximum penalty that the court can impose on a corporation is $22,000.
Meanwhile, in Queensland, a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au it is “an offence to lodge a false declaration, including knowingly nominating a person that was not the driver at the time of the offence”.
“This is an extremely serious offence that can attract a penalty of up to $8625, or in some cases jail time,” they said.
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