$123 a point: The dodgy world of selling demerit points
A seller has been caught exchanging demerit points for cash on Facebook
A driver has been caught red handed selling demerit points to helpless Aussies desperate to keep hold of their licences.
Under the deal, the seller steps forward to take on the person’s penalty for offences such as speeding and using a mobile phone while at the wheel in exchange for $123.
“Save your licences,” the man advertised on a popular Facebook group for locals in Sydney. “Need your camera fines/demerit points/phone cameras taken away? DM for more info.”
When contacted by Yahoo News Australia under the guise of someone looking to offload points, the man explained how he does it.
“I have an international licence so I don’t lose any points,” he said, after asking for a photo of the fine. “If you can send the details now I can have them done and out of your name by 5pm today.”
Demerit point blackmarket
It’s just the tip of the iceberg with an entire blackmarket operating online in the exchange of demerit points for cash.
On Facebook Marketplace, there are half a dozen listings in Sydney alone going for a range of prices.
“Message me with what fine and how many demerit points you need,” one person selling points for $50 wrote. “Can sort it.”
While another charged $150 per point for “all fines and penalties.”
With user names clearly listed on the social media site, at least one person had the foresight to attempt to disguise their post as an advertisement for a 2023 Toyota.
“Fines and penalties $150 a point done within minutes,” they wrote.
International drivers penalised under the same system
People are legally allowed to transfer their demerit point penalty to another driver if they weren’t behind the wheel at the time of the offence, but having someone else claim the points when they weren’t the driver is against the law.
“There are strong penalties in place for a person who falsely nominated another person as being responsible for driving offences,” Tara McCarthy, Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation at Transport for NSW, told Yahoo News Australia.
How man could have been hit with $10,000 in fines in 11 minutes
Can you spot the demerit offence in this NRMA road rules photo?
She was also quick to shut down any suggestion of side-stepping the system through an international driver’s licence.
According to Transport for NSW, an overseas licence holder who accrues 13 demerit points, or who commits a serious driving offence, can only drive on their overseas licence after they have served any relevant suspension or disqualification period.
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