LawPath takes the time to respond to general legal queries in Australia that remain uncertain. In this post we will examine the way in which internet technology can influence our legal decisions. Lawpath has also explored the Victorian 24-hr transport system and its viable services. However, this post will look further into the existing penalty system for fare evasion in Victoria.

The Problem: Unclear Options for Fare Evasion

The Victorian transport system has many praises attached to it. With 24hr services and a free city circle tram, the system keeps users satisfied. However, many complaints have arisen in regards to Victoria’s Public Transport penalty system. With fare evasion prominent, public transport users are faced with fine options which many do not understand.

Users caught evading fares are given to options – this is where the problem arises.. The first is to take an infringement notice of $223 which users can then fight in court. Alternatively, an on-the-spot fine of $73 can be issued. The problem with having two very different options is users don’t understand what they are.

In response to this problem, an app created by the Young Liberty for Law Reform (YLLR), was designed to help users seek the best option for them. This may be beneficial for public transport users to make an informed decision.

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A Solution? Phone App Helping Users Decide

The app is designed so that users can quickly and easily make a decision in confronting circumstances. It provides recommendations on how to handle public transport fines. It is a tech- innovative response to a problem that many users face.

How Does The App Work? A Logical Process

The app takes the form of a flow – chart styled questionnaire. It asks users simple questions to guide them to a suitable recommendation. In case of confusion, the app provides extra assistance through pop up boxes full of information. If at the end of the process the app suggests users fight a fine, it directs them to resources to assist.

What is the Effect of These Recommendations? It is Not Legal Advice

As great as this sounds it is important to remember that the app does not carry legal authority. It is not legal advice. The app merely provides ‘recommendations’ of pathways to help. If it happens that users take their issues to court a lawyer must still be contacted.

With the ability to use apps at our fingertips, the message to all users is to use your resources wisely and to be aware of your options.

Let us know your thoughts of app-tech and its assistance of legal obligations by tagging us #lawpath or @lawpath.

Brodie Nettleton

Brodie is a paralegal at LawPath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Criminal and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.