by Julia Sansone | @thesansberry
We’ve all heard a horror story or two about a bad experience with ticket inspectors on a train, tram or bus. Thankfully these inconvenient and often frustrating encounters are soon to be reduced thanks to this gem of a new website- www.mykifines.org.au.
A project of Young Liberty for Law Reform, the website launched this morning aims to educate and encourage people to exercise their rights and challenge unfair public transport fines.
By answering a series of questions, commuters can work out whether they should fight the fine, or cop the on-the-spot fare.
It is estimated more than $44 million in public transport fines in Victoria could be challenged thanks to the new initiative.
While the website stresses intentionally fare evading is NOT a defense to getting a fine revoked, exceptional circumstances gives a public transport user valid reason to challenge an infringement.
Special circumstances can generally include mental disability, mental illness, serious addiction or homelessness.
The youth organisation are confident that the website will help people like 26-year-old Sophie, a graduate lawyer from Melbourne who received a fine but was not aware she could dispute it, or how.
“The whole system seems like a form of bullying.” She said.
They don’t tell you what your rights are and then they intimidate you with the consequences of choosing an on-the-spot fine.”
If you believe you have a reason for getting a fine revoked, you must ask an authorised officer for a ticket infringement notice of $223.
This notice will be sent to your postal address and then can be reviewed internally by the Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
The $75 on-the-spot fine acts as a “penalty fare” says Emma Buckley Lennox from Young Liberty for Law Reform, which can be considered as a higher-price transport ticket.
Remember, ticket inspectors do not have the authority to search you or your belongings, including your phone. They also are not able to use unnecessary force.
For more information head to the website www.mykifines.org.au or follow @YoungLibertyVic’s hashtag #knowyourmykirights