I have been trying to get a proper answer or response to what I see as a problem with VicRoads issuing Unregistered Vehicle Permits online and based on a honesty system. There is no regulation of the number of times a UVP can be issued to a vehicle and although it is about $86 more expensive to get one for 12 months in a row than paying the yearly registration fee it is still much cheaper than having to get a vehicle roadworthy.
It also raises the question if VicRoads is liable if someone is killed or injured by a unroadworthy vehicle that they have given a permit to to be able to drive on the road.
For your information a vehicle can be issued with a UVP for the express purpose of driving it to a repair shop in order to get repairs done to make it roadworthy. VicRoads issues them but cannot enforce their proper use. The police can enforce their proper use but they need to catch the person driving. If the driver says “I am driving this vehicle to a repairer to get repairs done” the police cannot charge the person.
To me this is a major gap that neither VicRoads or the Police are interested in.
Below is a copy of an email I have sent to the ABC in Melbourne to see if I can spark some interest.
Should I just mind my own business or should I keep pushing.
" For the past 3 months I have been corresponding with VicRoads regarding what I consider the misuse of their Unregistered Vehicle Permits.
About 12 months ago I noticed a car that is often parked in our street, pulled over by the Police and they removed the registration plates of the car as it was obviously unregistered.
After a few months of the car being parked in the person’s driveway I noticed it being driven around with registration plates. I was surprised as I know the fine for driving an unregistered vehicle is about $800.
I walked past the car one day about 3 months ago and noticed a form on the dash. On a closer look it was a Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) which allows the owner to drive the car around to get the vehicle roadworthy and registered. They last for 28 days.
I noticed that after the UVP had expired the vehicle had a new UVP with a further 28 days. In the meantime I saw the vehicle being used as a daily drive car, at the supermarket and driving off at various times of the day. The vehicle is clearly unroadworthy as it has several cracks in the windscreen. I don’t like to look more closely at tyres, brake lights, indicators etc in case I am observed. Other things that only a mechanic could tell might be wrong with the car.
I felt it was proper that I report this to VicRoads that their UVP’s were being misused. I got a standard response to my email that did not even address what I had told them but advised me if the vehicle was emitting smoke to contact the EPA or if being driven erratically to call Victoria Police.
I then tried to find a contact for someone higher up than the Customer Response Management (CRM) team. I could not find any emails to anyone higher on their website.
I looked up on LinkedIn the name of VicRoads CEO, a man by the name of Dean Tilson and sent him a message explaining my report and the response I received.
After a week or 2 I received an email from someone from the CRM team saying that Mr Tilson had asked them to contact me. I explained what my issue was and also sent them photos of the 2 consecutive UVP’s displayed on the car. I received a response that VicRoads issue the permits but do not enforce them and and that it is about $85 more expensive to use UVP’s for a year than paying for standard registration and I should report it to the Police. (It is more expensive to keep registering the vehicle but the owner does not have to pay the money required to bring the vehicle up to a roadworthy state, so they can save of tyre replacement etc.) I replied that it was not my permit that was being misused but theirs and that surely it was their responsibility to report to the Police.
I also advised them that on my walk around streets I had spotted another vehicle that I remembered had been parked in my street last year and was now parked a few streets away with a current UVP on the dash as well.
After I had sent them a photo of a 3rd consecutive UVP for the car and the UVP for the second vehicle and asking why they did not have a computer system that kept a record of how many times a UVP is issued to the same vehicle I eventually received a email saying they had no intention of instituting such a system and would I mind if they passed my email to the Police. I replied that I had no problem with that.
I received an email from a Police Sergeant asking for my phone number which I supplied.
I received a phone call from the Sergeant about my concerns. She made a few points to me during the conversation. Firstly that VicRoads, being a business would not care if someone is overpaying on the cost of registration for a vehicle, also Police have to actually catch the driver in the act of driving the car and pull him over and question him as regards to him actually complying with the conditions of the UVP, which they may or may not find reasonable. She gave me the example of someone who is restoring a vintage car over several years. I mentioned that Linkt tollways may be interested but she said that it was probably a minor expense to them. I said what about the fact that an unroadworthy vehicle being driven on the roads is a danger to other road users and pedestrians if they have faulty lights, brakes, seat belts etc. Her answer was that there are lots of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads as vehicles only have to have a roadworthy if they are sold. I asked what happens if a vehicle with a UVP runs a red light camera and she admitted that in that case the Police could do nothing. The same can be said if it is caught by a speed camera. Also how can you report a vehicle driving dangerously or erratically if there is no number plate.
However the one comment that annoyed me was “How is it affecting you” to which the answer is that it isn’t affecting me at all, I can just walk past the vehicle without looking to see if it is registered. However in hindsight it does affect me because I am paying to keep my car safe and roadworthy. Also as a member of a community I would think the Police would welcome a report of this sort of thing going on.
I got the feeling after the conversation that I was being placated and that I should mind my own business and the Police had better things to do.
I would agree that this problem could be best handled by VicRoads not issuing multipule consecutive UVP to the same person for the same vehicle. However they are relying on an honesty system as you apply for these permits online and promise to tell the truth. The vehicle does not even have to be sighted by VicRoads.
Perhaps I am a stubborn retired person with to much time on my hands but I do think this is an issue that should be addressed.
I look forward to you confirming you received and read this email even if you think I should mind my own business.
I have photos of the permits if you require.
Thanks and best regards