Stop Transport NSW Fining $200 to $550 to Full-Time Students for Not Producing Student ID
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Thousands of full-time university/college/TAFE students are being fined a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $550 for not travelling with Student ID cards. These eligible students should have a chance to prove their right to student concession entitlements, not evading travel fares.
The Opal Concession card is a card that is delivered to the residential address of the applicant, after around 30 days of processing by the Opal Company to verify and validate that the information - full name, date of birth, education institution, and student number, that an Opal Concession Card applicant provides is correct. With this much proof already in Opal Concession cards, ID should not rest solely on the student ID cards that may not yet be issued from the applicant's institutions to the student or be forgotten/lost/stolen. Proof of ID by public transport travellers is not a matter of potentially causing harm to another individual in circumstances such as an alcohol-distributor needing to possess an RSA at the time of service or a vehicle driver or rider needing to possess a Driver or Rider licence at the time of motor vehicle use, and should be a circumstance that gives the public transport traveller a chance to provide evidence that they are using the public transport at the correct rate of fare.
I have never purposefully bought a ticket entitled to a student or any other kind to avoid paying full-fare. For not presenting my student ID card for the reason that my university was yet to issue it to me, I was issued a $200 fine even after producing photo ID of my Drivers Licence. At this time, I was using my Opal Concession card which had been processed and approved by the Opal company.
As a result of this petition, either one of the two changes, or both, should be introduced:
1) The Opal company should provide sufficient evidence - full name, d.o.b., student number, and education institution, to prove that the transport traveller is a full-time student at the institution applied for, when the Opal card is checked by Transport NSW officers, IF this information is not already shown when the Opal Concession card is scanned. If ID is required, a valid Photo with full name and date of birth should suffice evidence that the Opal Concession Card is in use by the authorised person, such as a Driver's Licence, Passport, RSA card.
2) A person travelling with an Opal Concession card without a Student ID, should have 48 hours to present their Student ID at a police station from the time they are issued with a penalty notice card by a Transport NSW officer.
As a result of '1)', the penalty would not be issued in the first place, as the ID requirement would be met.
As a result of '2)', the penalty would be guaranteed to be cancelled out once it is put forward in appeal, to recognise that proof of ID has been met at a police station, allowing Transport NSW to notify the applicant that it does not require further reviewing and can be cancelled.
If neither of the requirements are met, the individual must meet the demands of the penalty or deal with the penalty providing their own reasons if appealing.
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