Opinion: Motorists are becoming big cash cows

SINCE when did traffic infringements become so expensive?

When I was going to university back in the deep dark ages, parking fines were $4.

Even on my Austudy allowance that was reasonably affordable, so if I was late for lectures, I would just park illegally and take the risk of getting fined.

In the past week I've been staggered by the size of some fines.

One was for was a whopping $560 for being 13km/h over the speed limit on the Pacific Highway.

And today's Page 3 story details how some families are being fined $300 or more for parking in a no go zone outside a school.

Now for most average wage earners that's a huge impost.

I'm all for deterrents, but when the fines are worth a huge chunk of an average person's income, something is drastically wrong.

I'm sure there is a whole science behind how traffic infringements are calculated.

But are fines pegged to wages growth or are they just increased quietly every other year without due consideration to other cost of living pressures?

I'm sure there are payment plans for those people who simply can't pay before the due date.

Genuine hardship cases would also be taken into consideration.

But with rego, third party insurance, petrol and the myriad of other associated costs of running a car, NSW motorists have become a major cash cow for governments.

Perhaps driverless cars, programmed to do only the speed limit, are the way to go.

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