Mechanics in fines protest

WARWICK mechanics are being slapped with fines of up to $3000 for single paperwork errors in roadworthy certificates, some as simple as writing a 'J' instead of a 'T'.

EZR Automotive Services owner Glen Easey said the amount of fines the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) had dished out was "unbelievable".

Mr Easey was forced to take the matter to court late last year, after he accumulated a whopping $18,000 for six fines over the course of three years.

"(TMR) wanted to go for the maximum of $3000 an offence and at the beginning I had six offences," he said.

"They immediately dropped three of the offences because we challenged them and we got the $300 for each of the remaining three offences."

In each of the six fines, no warning was given from the department before the notice came to the shop. Mr Easey said he'd like to see that change.

"Give us a warning at least, saying you've got to pick it up a bit," he said.

"When we do roadworthy checks there's not much money anyway - it's $64 per certificate, but it takes an hour to do on the car and costs us $80, so we're losing money straight away.

"On top of that if you've got a fine, it doubles your losses."

He said it appeared the number of fines he had received seemed to be increasing.

For B&K Motors owner David Kemp, these fines seemed a cruel joke after juveniles vandalised his business along with four others last fortnight.

He said watching the troublemakers receive a fine equalling just a fraction of the damage they caused, compared to the fines he received for honest mistakes, seemed unjust.

"I feel the system is wrong," he said.

"We're trying to carry out works to make cars safe for the roads; we're not smashing up businesses."

Both car service owners said they would have happily taken the fine if a car they'd serviced had caused an accident because of a fault, but found it hard to accept when it was for minor mistakes in paperwork.

The Daily News contacted TMR but did not receive a response by the time of print.

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