Ticket Infringement Notice

Last month I received a fine for not having a valid ticket to travel on Melbourne’s controversial public transport system. This is my letter to the Department, seeking a review of my case. The fine is a hefty $207. Have you ever received a fine like this? Would you pardon my case? 

 

22 December, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

 

My name is Esther and I am writing to the Case Review Area of the Transport Infringement Administration in regards to a Ticket Infringement Notice I received on the 17th of November 2012.

 

On the 19th of October 2012, I ‘Fail[ed] to produce [a] valid ticket’ at Flinders Street Railway Station. The time of the offence was approximately 9:38am.

 

I strongly believe this Infringement Notice should be reviewed under the grounds (c) stated on the Infringement Notice – the conduct for which the infringement notice was served should be excused having regard to any exceptional circumstances relating to the infringement offence.

 

I am a student, and at all times carry my Concession card and my Myki card. I presented both to the officer on said date. The reason for my offence on this particular date was a combination of my respect for punctuality, misunderstanding and a one-off error. I boarded the train at ***** Station at 9:10am. I had an important appointment for which I could not be late beginning at 10am. It was crucial I board this train so that I could catch a connecting tram in order to meet my schedule.

 

I got to ***** Station just as the train arrived at the station and ran for the train. I thought I had touched on successfully and heard the Myki reader beep, but did not look at the machine to check my balance. As it happens, I was then travelling on a negative balance. However, this is the first and only time I have done so, and I always carry money in order to top up my card. The only reason this did not occur was simply due to a lack of time.

 

As soon as I arrived at Flinders Street Station I was going to check and top up my Myki. However, the officer at the exit gate got to me first. I told her I had every intention of topping up, as I did, and explained to her the unfortunate circumstances of my rookie offence.

 

Consequently, I received this Infringement Notice, which I believe should be excused. Since this date, I have never travelled on a negative balance, have made sure I leave more time to sufficiently top up or check my Myki balance, and continue to carry my Concession card and Myki at all times when using Melbourne’s public transport system.

 

I am currently without an income and in the event of having to meet this fine, would go into debt. It is under these circumstances that I hope you will review my case and my respect for the public transport ticketing system, carefully. I have no other offences to my name and have all intentions to never make this same mistake again.

 

The Infringement Number is *******.

 

Sincerely,

 

Esther

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22 comments
  1. Eva Setton said:

    Sure hope they waived the fine. I believe a first infringement , with a sincere explanation , should be treated as a ‘caution’ , similar to some driving/parking offences. Good luck! annoN

  2. Bill and Monnie Fenner said:

    Do hope you get a postive outcome, personally I am totally fed up with the myki system, overcharging and even charging for trips not taken – Murray (and how many others?) have had same problem. Nanna

  3. Clara said:

    I’m stuck in a similar situation and thinking about to write a letter to them (Although I haven’t received an infrigement notice yet). I’ve been checking cases online but didn’t find anyone who succeeded to be waived the fine. So I am wondering if there is a hope by writting a letter and how you ended with your case.

    • estherlf said:

      Hi Clara,

      Unfortunately I had to end up paying the fine. I’d agree that it is very difficult to get the fee waived but there’s no harm in trying for yourself!
      Let me know how you go.

      • Clara said:

        Hi, that’s really bad. I thought your letter was very polite and worth to be reviewd. Yes, it sounds really difficult to get the fee waived and I don’t find anybody who has succeeded.
        As it happened to me a few days ago and the inspector said it would take about 2 months to receive the letter, it will take time to know how it goes, but I will let you know.
        Thank you for your reply!

  4. Hannah said:

    It happened to me today, I topped up my myki before I boarded but I forgotten to touch on. Do anyone know how much is the fine? Would it take 2 months to receive the letter?

    • Hope things have worked out for you, Hannah.

  5. Hannah said:

    Infringement fine in Victoria is merciless and expensive. No wonder Victorian are such good citizens

  6. Bhavana said:

    Hi Clara, i am in a similar situation and i just read this on this forum. i m keen to know what happened? did they waive off the fine if you gave a reasonable reason for it? thanks 🙂

    • I had to pay the fine in the end. You can take it to court and they generally let people off without too much of a hassle but I didn’t want to spend the time/worry. Good luck!

  7. Erica said:

    I’ve also received a fine and the inspector actually heard the machine beep beep when I swiped (to say it wasn’t working properly). I’ve sent 2 letters disputing and they are refusing to budge on it. I read somewhere that the next step is to go to your local council. Does anyone now the process because I’m not paying it!

    • estherlf said:

      Hi Erica,

      I ended up paying the fee and I don’t know many people who’ve gotten out of it successfully.
      But good luck!

      Esther

      • Erica said:

        Thanks Esther. I’m going to keep fighting til I run out of time!

    • Kiki said:

      Hi Erica, same thing happened to me. Did you end up going yo court?

      • estherlf said:

        No, I didn’t.

      • Erica said:

        No I didn’t. It’s was just too much of a hassle. Thanks for asking and thank you to Esther for replying

  8. Sian said:

    I am in a similar situation and have just sent a request for review today. The Myki reader did not read my card – despite me believing I had touched on! Has anyone successful had their circumstance reviewed? I am happy to take it as far as possible – I believe genuine mistakes should not be penalised!

    • estherlf said:

      Hi Sian, unfortunately I’ve now had two fines and have paid them both, despite less than fair circumstances. Good luck!

  9. Kristina said:

    Hello Guys, I’m having the same issues at the moment. I believe I touched on but apparently it didn’t. I’ve received infringement notice and I’m writing to them to review the situation as first step and we have to, we’ll go into the court. I know it’s a lot of hassle and I wondering if I’ll be charged or have a record if I do not succeed in the court. But this article definitly gives me ray of hope. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/myki-fines-fail-in-court-20140929-10nlbk.html

    Check the article out guys if this infringement issue come across again.

    • Danielle said:

      How did you go Kristina? I’m currently trying your fight my husbands infringement, he is willing to take it to court. Would love to know your result.

  10. Ava said:

    Recently received an infringement. I wrote a letter back to them making my case incl. (i) outlining the situation and that I had done all I can, touching on and checking confirmation on the screen, (ii) my solid record/history on my myki and (iii) noting that the station that I travel to is one with barriers so it is highly unlikely that I would attempt fare evade.
    I have since received confirmation that the infringement has been withdrawn and I ended up with only a warning.

  11. Heidi said:

    Same thing happened to me today, I touched on at Flinders station no 6 tram around 15:50 going down St Kilda Road. I heard the machine beep, and knew the inspectors waited where the free zone ended, so I kept my card in my hand. When they came around their hand held instrument said I did not touch on – the same with an older lady next to me. We both insisted we did to no avail.

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