Letters of happiness are back!

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Letters of happiness are back! 

The news of the introduction of auto-fix systems for traffic violations has stirred up almost the entire Ukrainian auto community over the past month. By the end of the year, these systems will be located in Kiev and will gradually increase their coverage area.

The national police in test mode will notify drivers with warning letters that they have violated the rules, and from January 1, 2020 fines will be applied to violators. The story for Ukrainian drivers is not new, something similar has already happened in 2010.

Sale by proxy and data sheet
Now the discussion raises the issue of paying fines that will be imposed on drivers using automated systems for recording violations of traffic rules.


The Law of Ukraine “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Reforming the Sphere of Vehicle Parking” stipulates that auto owners or heads of legal entities registered are responsible for violations in the field of road safety vehicle.


Hence the first minus of the implemented system of imposing fines, because the car owner will be responsible, and not the person who directly controlled the vehicle and committed a violation of the rules.


“Traffic cameras will not have the function of recognizing the faces of drivers. Therefore, if the vehicle is“ sold ”by proxy or by“ transferring ”a passport, then the fines will still be paid by the person whose information as the owner is entered in the Unified State Register of Transport In order to avoid such a risk, when selling a car, the owner, together with the buyer, must enter information about the buyer in the indicated register as a single proper user, "Ruslan Redka, Managing Partner of Legal House Law Firm, told UBR.ua.


Personal responsibility
The second drawback of the auto-fixation system, according to lawyers, is a hypothetical increase in the number of lawsuits by which car owners will dispute their involvement in an administrative offense and prove that they were in a different place at that time, and the right to drive a car was not transferred to anyone.


Given judicial practice, the likelihood of such an appeal will be quite high.


In 2010, the Constitutional Court (KSU) decided that prosecution of a specific illegal act should be tied to a specific person. In 2015, the KSU indicated that drafting a fine on the road directly when the driver does not have time to seek legal assistance is a violation of his rights.


“The prosecution of the car owner instead of the driver will violate the personal principle of the offender’s liability and entail massive court appeals, which will inevitably lead to additional load on the courts,” said Vitaliy Sobkovich, managing partner of Legal Forces Alliance, in an interview with UBR.ua.


Auto-fixation deprives the driver of the right to express his position on an offense in the protocol or to completely disagree with him, because the automated system does not execute any documents.

This minus can be overcome if cameras are installed on Ukrainian roads with the ability to recognize the faces of drivers and fines, respectively, will be imposed directly on those who drove the car.

"Borrowing the experience of European countries, it should be noted that the car owner and the person who directly committed the offense on the car owner must be jointly and severally liable," says Ruslan Redka.

Execute to the "poor"
The third minus of automatic fines is that Cabinet Decision No. 1197 of November 14, 2018 stated that an infinite number of vehicles can be registered for one responsible user.

This can lead to the fact that for persons without property and income vehicles will be registered with might and main. It will be impossible to recover the fine of such persons with the help of the executive service due to the fact that they do not own anything and earn nothing.

Lawyers attributed to other disadvantages of the automatic system:


sending happiness letters to registration addresses, which for many do not coincide with the place (and even the city) of residence, will not allow to pay the fine on time voluntarily and will lead to an increase in the fine and the opening of enforcement proceedings;
difficulties in holding cars accountable at foreign registration;
appeal of the decision on bringing to administrative responsibility with the subsequent delay of the consideration of the case in court will allow avoiding liability in view of the expiration of the terms of attraction.
It is rather difficult to predict how the procedure for appealing fines will be implemented, because at least some judicial practice should develop. So far, the legislator has not come up with something revolutionary, so appeals will most likely be in the usual manner.


How will appeal
The fines will come into force even if the violator does not want to receive notification of him by mail. Consequently, in case of disagreement with the sanction, it will still have to be challenged independently.


Also, “letters of happiness” can be appealed to a higher authority (higher official), but in practice this rarely brings a positive result, so lawyers advise appealing a decision immediately in a district court.


He will have 10 days to appeal. They will be calculated from the next day, after the decision is made. The time limit for appeal may be restored if missed for valid reasons.


After receiving a copy of the decision, the driver has the right to apply to the court for the protection of his rights.


The statement of claim should be based on the Code of Administrative Offenses:


The driver should definitely note why he considers the decision illegal;
The statement of claim can not be brought in person, but sent by mail;
It should be noted that if the application is sent on the last day, it must be mailed no later than 12:00 a.m. ;
Upon appeal of the decision, no court fee is paid. But for an effective appeal, in some cases, you need the help of a lawyer, then the cost of an appeal will definitely exceed the amount of the fine.
"Given the amount of fines that will be imposed on drivers using auto-fixation systems, and if there is reason to believe that the driver has not violated traffic rules, the issue of appealing fines will be very relevant in the near future for a significant number of car owners," said Ruslan Redka.


System advantages
Together with the obvious imperfection of the automatic fixation system, lawyers also do not neglect its advantages:

Improving road safety;
Reducing the risks of corruption, because the automatic mode of operation allows virtually without involvement of a person to record violations, draw up protocols and send them to the addressee;
Save time - no need to stop the car for a fine - this will avoid traffic jams at the place of the system and will not allow other drivers to drive “unformed” (while the police make out the stopped car);
Equality before the law - the system makes decisions for the fact of violation regardless of the status of the person who is in the car - this will to some extent exclude the human factor;
Increase in budget revenues due to fines.

“Such a system is undoubtedly a progressive idea that could improve the situation, if not on all roads of Kiev, then at least in those areas where it is installed. However, this is not the first attempt to introduce it, which does not give the desired result for several reasons: imperfect legislation , not the constitutionality of some of its provisions, the presence of twin cars, the mismatch of license plate numbers and potential interference with

the system’s work for the “right” people, ”says Vitaliy Sobkovich.

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