The FINANCIAL — Imagine you wake up early one morning and have made plans for the day.
At around 10am you receive a phone call from an unknown but fancy mobile number – with a woman’s voice telling you that she is calling from the National Bureau of Enforcement (NBE) and is commissioned by the Patrol Police of Georgia. For a second you think that it’s a scam, but after her mentioning your ID and driving license number you realize that there is definitely SOMETHING going on…
After inquiring about the reason for the call, you discover that you have been fined an extra, tripled amount on top of the fine you had received two months ago.
Then you call the police to confirm the fine and find yet more news – which is that your driving license was suspended three days ago and you are not allowed to drive for the next six months. You then call back the NBE lady who reveals in the conversation that all your bank accounts have been seized and you won’t be able to withdraw any money from an ATM or make any online transfers.
Sounds like a nightmare? It certainly does, but what if I tell you that this wasn’t just the story me almost having a heart attack, but the story of hundreds of drivers queued up in Ortachala Police Department, Gulua St #8, every single day…
And you won’t believe how simple the solution to all this hassle could be…
Welcome to the 21st century – the world of mobile and internet communication…
If the police had sent a single SMS/email reminder of the fine I had to pay, this wouldn’t have happened. And apparently, from talking to some of those very people standing in line – it is clear that communicating via post in Georgia is NOT the most efficient method of delivering such information to people. Why? First of all, you never get a phone call from deliverymen to confirm delivery of a parcel in Georgia, which means that if you are not there, there is a high probability that you may not even see the letter attached to your door, or it may be too late to see one.
In my case, it was sent to an old address, where I used to live, and was received by a relative who forgot to inform me about it. In some other cases, as the people standing in line revealed, their letters had been attached to their neighbours’ doors – which they also discovered too late.
To alleviate the GEL 500 fine I received for the GEL 50 ticket, plus get my driving license back, I wrote a letter addressed to the head of the Patrol Police of Georgia. When I took it to the police department in Ortachala, this is how they responded: “You have the right to appeal with the application you wrote but I can tell you with 100% probability that it won’t be satisfied.” And instead, the lady offered me an application which offered to substitute my driving license suspension for a monetary fine of GEL 300.
When I asked what would have happened if I hadn’t called them to find out about my driving license suspension, she replied: “You would get an additional GEL 600 fine in the event you were stopped by the police within these six months.”
As I found later on the Police.ge website – neither had my driving license suspension information been updated on the page where you see the history of your tickets.
Unfortunately my final impression was that it simply doesn’t play into the police’s hands to inform the public about payment dates or about their driving license suspension. This is due to the fact that such a gap in information significantly increases their revenue.
And when I asked the police at Gulua #8 why people get an SMS about video fines but not about their payments – they simply said: “The law doesn’t oblige us to do so!”