Cassie facing fines for someone else's motorbike
ONE of these motorbikes is not like the other, but try telling that to the Department of Transport.
Cassie Lewis has been hit with hundreds of dollars in toll penalties and speeding fines clocked up by an unknown man using illegally duplicated copies of her number plates.
The 21-year-old Twin Waters resident is prepared to go to court to prove she is not responsible for the steadily increasing fines being stacked against her.
Ms Lewis bought her first motorbike, a red Honda CBR250, last November.
On December 21, she received toll fines from GoVia and AirportlinkM7 when an orange "naked bike" with the same number plates as Ms Lewis travelled along the M7.
Ms Lewis wrote to the respective toll companies explaining the situation and while Airportlink voided the fines, GoVia requested a police statement to declare the bike in the photos was not Ms Lewis's.
In the meantime, the fines increased as deadlines for payment were not met.
"I told them this was not my bike and the photos clearly show that it isn't," Ms Lewis said.
After speaking with police, Ms Lewis went to the Department of Transport for new number plates, but was told she would have to bear the cost.
"It's only $27, but I shouldn't have to pay it. I am a law-abiding citizen getting penalized for someone else doing wrong," she said.
"The department staff member told me that even if I changed my number plates, they would continue to send me the fines this guy gets."
Police have flagged the plate, so whenever it is picked up by a fixed or mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition device, officers will be notified.
Although it means Ms Lewis would be pulled over, she said it was her only hope of catching the offender.
"If the fines get taken to the next level, I will most likely end up in court but I'm going to win the case because you can clearly see that it's not my bike," she said.
Nambour Road Policing Unit officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Shane Panoho said this was an uncommon offence.
"It is a highly unusual situation," he said.
"Eventually we will track them down, they will be identified and they will be prosecuted."
A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said they would investigate Ms Lewis's matter.
"Any claims of number plate duplication or misuse are taken seriously and we will work with the QPS and toll road operators to provide options for the customer," she said.
"Illegal number plate duplication is not often reported to Transport and Main Roads."
The spokeswoman said replacing plates and paying the service fee would mean customers "should not receive any further infringements from that plate combination."