VicRoads pledges to do better after report highlights complaints

Victoria’s roads and traffic authority has accepted it needs to do better and is “looking for solutions” after a report revealed a barrage of complaints were made against it last year.

Victorians lodged more than 800 complaints, mainly relating to administrative problems, about VicRoads in the last financial year, the Ombudsman’s report released on Wednesday reveals.

Complaints related to registration transferal processes, renewal notices being sent to the wrong addresses and people having to wait months to recoup overpaid funds.

There were also complaints about concession card holders not receiving concessions on their fees.

“People have had cars, caravans and motorbikes transferred out of their name without their knowledge or consent,” Ombudsman Deborah Glass says in the report.

“Some people spent large sums of money improving cars they bought, to then have those cars seized by Victoria Police because unknown to them, the car was stolen. Other people have incurred fines and demerit points as a result of driving unregistered vehicles, not having received a renewal notice through no fault of their own.”

VicRoads said it welcomed the release of the report and was committed to improving the service it offered to customers.

“VicRoads processes over 26 million transactions simply and efficiently each year but we accept, in a small number of cases, we can do better,” it said in a statement to Government News.

“We will work closely with the government to address the issues identified and ensure all Victorians can have confidence in our services. “

Dodgy registration transfers ‘enabling theft’

Deborah Glass

Some complaints identified in the report related to vehicles being transferred out of a person’s name without their knowledge or consent, sometimes enabling a third party to steal the vehicle.

In some cases VicRoads processed transfers where owner details didn’t match the register and where other information, including signatures, was missing.

“On some occasions, VicRoads transferred registration that enabled fraud and theft, and VicRoads had information that should have prompted an enquiry,” the report said.

In correspondence with Ombudsman, VicRoads CEO Michael Malouf said the authority would introduce a policy of not accepting incomplete transfer applications.

But he said VicRoads was “proceeding carefully” and being guided by the experience of Queensland, which he said had a similar regulatory framework and had addressed similar “difficult scenarios”.

It was also reviewing staff guidelines on vehicle transfers.

VicRoads ordered to improve administration of Alcohol Interlock Program

The report also identified problems with administration of the alcohol interlock program, where people convicted of drink driving offences are required to provide data from an electronic breath testing device that prevents a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected.

In some cases interlock violations were mistakenly recorded.

“We saw cases where VicRoads maintained violations in circumstances were there person… wasn’t even in the car and subsequently gave a clean sample,” the report said.

“VicRoads needs to ask itself more often: Is this fair?”

Ms Glass said VicRoads had accepted all of her proposals for improvement.

“I am pleased that VicRoads acknowledges improvements are needed and has worked with us to resolve many of these complaints,” Ms Glass said.

“But given the number of people affected by these issues, and the human cost of VicRoads’ shortcomings, we have encouraged them to look for interim solutions as well as long-term ones.

“Some of these issues will not be fixed properly without major investment in systems, which will take time and money.”

Read the full report here.

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5 thoughts on “VicRoads pledges to do better after report highlights complaints

  1. On 7th June, 2019, I was booked for speeding through Healesville which I will cop because I was speeding (lack of concentration) stupid. The police asked for my Driver Licence, took it away to check and came back to me saying I surrendered it! Can’t be. Eventually spoke to a girl at Vic. Roads who took all my details and what happened and said she can’t understand how this could happen. I did not surrender my licence, only thing I can see is Vic Roads has made a human error. I am only a pensioner and all this is not fair. Beverley Bellman

  2. Vic Roads staff send computer generated letters out, that are unsigned Just Ot instead. Of a signature. Vic roads medical review are rude on the phone.
    , having uncaring attitude when you explain your circumstances. Last March I was threatened with Police action if I did not give in my licence. I didn’t give it in, the police never came looking for me.

    Vic roads refuse o accept reports saying there is nothing seriously wrong.

    They practice discrimination if you are on a disability benefit.

  3. Last year Vic Roads suspended my driver’s licence for absolutely no other reason than they sat on my medical clearance paperwork (which I supplied to them as requested well before the due date) for well over a month. Whilst they apologised profusely and erased any record of the unlawful “administrative suspension”, it was still a significant inconvenience and might not have ended well had I decided to drive to the shops the day it happened (where I live you can’t drive a kilometre without being passed by at least one police vehicle since the regional police headquarters is just up the road!).

  4. Registration cancelled without any notification from Vic Roads because they never deducted the payment from my credit card after paying over the phone. They could find no record of payment against the receipt number and no record of them notifying me of cancellation of rego then to boot at 70 years of age had to change the numberplates in the Vic roads carpark

  5. vic roads refused to send a yearly boat licence renewal but a 5 year
    i want it yearly
    it was again refused by message after filling out the long complaints form
    and receiving no reply response
    so again after once again messaging it was refused
    a third time required i jump through some hoops as it now cant be issued as normal
    i put it on hold short time
    after this being some time passing as i dont require the licence for a while
    it was then fully refused due to the time limit of some sort has to again be 5 years
    this is all complete lies and nonsense

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