VOTING: What one Southside driver wishes he had done, after failing to vote cost him his drivers licence.
VOTING: What one Southside driver wishes he had done, after failing to vote cost him his drivers licence. Rob Williams

Shock for Gympie man who didn't vote years ago

A SOUTHSIDE man found he was still paying the price for his failure to vote in the Gympie Regional Council election more than three years ago.

He did not pay the fine and, because the Transport Department did not have his current address, did not receive notice that his licence had been disqualified, pending payment of the penalty.

The fine for not voting had been referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Register, which can suspend driving licences in response to unpaid fines.

Brisbane police also did not initially realise Graham David Hewitt was unlicensed, but their vehicle's on-board computer was quickly able to work it out by cross checking automatically with police data records.

The court was told that at 5.33pm on April 2, police on patrol at Boondall were alerted by their vehicle's automatic number plate recognition system.

The computerised vehicle and driver checking system quickly informed the officers that the owner of Hewitt's car was unlicensed after being suspended for the unpaid fine.

Hewitt pleaded guilty to that offence and to having marijuana residue in his saliva at the time, when he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday.

"It's important the Department of Transport knows where you live,” magistrate Chris Callaghan said.

He fined Hewitt $200 and disqualified him for three months, with no conviction recorded.

In a separate matter also before the court on Thursday, a Kia Ora driver admitted clocking up 12 demerit points on his licence so far this year.

Mr Callaghan noted the rapid accumulation of points after the man, John Albert Iddles, 29, pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving in Ramsay Rd, Southside, on May 9.

He was unlicensed because of points linked to three speeding offences, one seat belt breach and six offences of speeding more than 30km/h over the limit.

Iddles was fined $300 and disqualified for the mandatory six months.