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Corporate Notification?????

By RaTTyRaTT - 5 December 2012 29

Hey all.

Okay, before i say anything more, I am not going out of my way to be a d%*k about this, but I am genuinely interested in knowing a way forward. :-)

My company received a notice from Victoria Police for a Corporate Notification – requesting we supply the details about a driver of a car registered to my company. The car in question had just been picked up (brand new) the prior week in Sydney, and driven to Melbourne for work. The person driving it had noted a discrepancy in the vehicle speedometer – vs the GPS which indicated the vehicle was ‘out’ a bit.

On it’s return, and the report was made of the speedometer, I checked and had the vehicle’s tyres replaced (note, this was BRAND NEW) and in the process adjusted the type of tyre (diameter, etc…) with a confirmation check that it was ‘correct’ against both the GPS and the speedo.

After that, we got a notification of infringement against the vehicle – with a request for identification of the driver.

The irritating thing is that the infringement lists: PERMITTED SPEED = 60 km/h – ALLEGED SPEED: 64 km/h – DETECTED SPEED: 67 km/h.

Now, while I did not note how far out the speedometer by the driver, I suspect it was about 2-3km overall.

So this puts a dilemma to me, as should I allow the driver (an employee) cop it for a vehicle that had a incorrect speedometer? Or do we just let him cop it – and identify him. Also, will anyone down there (with their reputation, doubtful) care if we explain the above anyway?

I am genuinely interested as I haven’t seen this situation before, and would be keen to know – at least I will be making a company policy (in writing) for the future on it. I don’t want to go asking lawyers and stuff – it’s one of those things that seems ‘almost’ pointless.

On a side note, the letter seems to be rather nasty about if we don’t identify the driver, that we will have to pay. This has me rather puzzled also – since we are an ACT registered company, not Victorian. I am wondering (as a side point) how they are going to do that? send us a bill? What if we don’t pay it? Hmm, questions questions… Will they ask the AFP to come and enforce it on us ??? I would be interested to know that…

Note, there is nothing to pay on this – it’s simply a corporate notification, so even if we wanted to just pay it for the employee – we couldn’t.

Seriously wondering..

R

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Corporate Notification?????
1
NoAddedMSG 9:20 am
05 Dec 12
#

My understanding is that if you elect not to identify the driver, the fine is sent to the company to pay, and the fine will be bigger than if the person was identified. (A disincentive to stop companies agreeing to cop it and letting the employees pay them back, thus the employee avoids demerit points on their license.)

I vaguely recall someone – Marcus Einfeld? – getting a mention in the media a few years back for exploiting this particular loophole to avoid demerit points.

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2
deye 9:51 am
05 Dec 12
#

write back to them, explain the situation, show the receipt for the tyres and see what they say.

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3
NellyBean 10:07 am
05 Dec 12
#

NoAddedMSG said :

I vaguely recall someone – Marcus Einfeld? – getting a mention in the media a few years back for exploiting this particular loophole to avoid demerit points.

slightly different.. Enfield was claiming deceased or overseas persons as the driver.

If it means anything, the demerit points have a habit of getting lost and never being applied to the Canberra license..

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4
NoAddedMSG 10:33 am
05 Dec 12
#

NellyBean said :

NoAddedMSG said :

I vaguely recall someone – Marcus Einfeld? – getting a mention in the media a few years back for exploiting this particular loophole to avoid demerit points.

slightly different.. Enfield was claiming deceased or overseas persons as the driver.

If it means anything, the demerit points have a habit of getting lost and never being applied to the Canberra license..

Yes, I know he did that too, but I think there was also a mention that rather a lot of speeding fines had been wracked up in a corporate car with no person be attributed to them.

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5
Charlie57 10:47 am
05 Dec 12
#

That’s my understanding too, NoAddedMSG. The letter isn’t trying to be nasty about you having to pay if you don’t identify the driver, just laying out the process. As for paying an interstate fine, I’m not sure what they can do if you choose never to drive to that state again.

I’d also give it a go explaining the situation away. From a recent experience, my brother gave a similarly valid reason to get out of an infringement notice and the notice was withdrawn. A real person reviewed his letter and decided that it was a good enough reason.

If that doesn’t work and the fine is going to stick, then there are two issues to consider. Firstly, between your company and the driver. Your company provided a car with a dodgy speedo, so it is pretty harsh to name the driver and make them pay the fine. That said, they admitted to going 64km/h which is still speeding, and in the same bracket at 67km/h, so really the speedo wasn’t totally at fault. Flip a coin. Maybe wear the corporate fine, but make your employee foot the bill for the 64km/h they admitted to doing.

Next issue is between your company and wherever you bought the car from. They sold you a product not fit for service, and should recompense you for that in some way.

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6
tim_c 11:46 am
05 Dec 12
#

My understanding is consistent with “NoAddedMSG” – the fine will be greater if paid by the company, at least that’s the way it works in ACT, and I expect Victoria would be similar. I don’t know what the procedure is, but I’m sure they would have some recourse against a company that doesn’t pay such fines – otherwise there’d be a lot of people registering their cars under company names because they would effectively be immune to such traffic fines.

But, your post also raises a number of other interesting questions:

There are strict standards for vehicle speedometers stating they must be accurate to within prescribed percentages tested at particular speeds, and they MUST NEVER UNDER-READ. If a brand-new car was delivered to you and prior to being altered by you in any way (ie. fitting other tyres), and the speedo was under-reading (ie. showing 60km/h when you were actually travelling 67km/h) the vehicle manufacturer may have some questions to answer. The first one may relate to the tyres fitted to the vehicle as delivered – you said that the speedo was corrected by fitting a different size tyre: does that mean the incorrect size was fitted by the manufacturer (check the tyre placard attached to the car)?

You said that your employee noted that the speedo was inaccurate. It may be difficult to determine, but did the infringement occur before or after the employee realised the speedo was inaccurate? Further, your assessment was that the speedo was about 2-3km/h, but your employee was detected at 7km/h above the speed limit. However, you must note that most times, speedos are accurate to a percentage, not the same amount across the range. eg. it is unlikely to be 2-3km/h out at all speeds – as speed increases, the inaccuracy USUALLY is greater, so as 60km/h, 2-3km/h would be about 3-5% inaccuracy, you could expect a similar inaccuracy at 100km/h where 3-5% error starts to become noticeable with an error of up to 5km/h.

I’m also very curious why there is a detected speed of 67km/h and an alleged speed of 64km/h? Most courts won’t uphold a fine for exceeding the speed by less than 10% (64km/h is less than 10%, 67km/h is more than 10%) but I understand that Victoria changed their law to a zero-tolerance on speeding, which means they can fine you for 61km/h in a 60km/h zone. Not surprisingly, this was reported to actually INCREASE road trauma (probably because all the drivers’ eyes were glued to the speedo instead of actually watching where they were driving), but governments don’t generally admit their mistakes so the law is unchanged to my knowledge. Of course, even if the court was going to reject the fine for exceeding speed limit by less than 10%, you’d have to go to a Victorian court to fight it (probably cheaper/easier just to pay the fine).

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7
Mr Evil 12:42 pm
05 Dec 12
#

If the person driving the vehicle noted that the speedometer was ‘out a bit’, why then didn’t he or she try and factor that in when driving around so as to avoid being booked?

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8
Charlie57 4:21 pm
05 Dec 12
#

tim_c said :

I’m also very curious why there is a detected speed of 67km/h and an alleged speed of 64km/h?

I read this as the driver alleged they were travelling 64km/h, the police claim they were travelling at 67km/h. I still think that is the case, though now I’m not 100% sure.

Mr Evil said :

If the person driving the vehicle noted that the speedometer was ‘out a bit’, why then didn’t he or she try and factor that in when driving around so as to avoid being booked?

I’m all about personal responsibility, but there is a point to which you should be able to trust your tools. Humans aren’t designed to know to two decimal places how fast the vehicle they are travelling in is moving, so trusting the speedo is really the only option. Even on a bike with full wind resistance literally in your face, humans can’t tell exactly how fast they are travelling.

Using a GPS to test the speedo isn’t fool-proof either, as commercial GPS isn’t accurate enough. If weather conditions were good on a straight stretch of road, GPS would probably give a pretty accurate average speed. As soon as the road bends significantly though the speed will show as slowing down (velocity = distance/time).

No, I think in this case the driver should not be expected to correct for such a marginal error in the speedo.

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9
ps0104 5:05 pm
05 Dec 12
#

tim_c said :

I’m also very curious why there is a detected speed of 67km/h and an alleged speed of 64km/h?

I seem to remember from when I was done for speeding in VIC a few years back that down there they factor in 3 km/h of ‘benefit of the doubt’- whether that is to compensate for any variance in the radar equipment or your speedo or a combo of the two I don’t know. So the camera detected 67km/h but once the 3 km/h is factored in they are alleging that the car was doing 64 km/h and have subsequently issued an infringement.

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10
Masquara 6:05 pm
05 Dec 12
#

If the speed detected was 67, and the speedo is 2-3 km out as you say, the driver was doing 4-5 over the speed limit regardless. What is the issue with the fine?

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11
Pork Hunt 6:16 pm
05 Dec 12
#

I have absolutely no problem with the accuracy of the GPS speed measurement my HEMA Navigator gives me.
I have a 2011 British 4WD with an analogue speedo to which I have fitted a ScanGauge brand gadget that plugs into the vehicle diagnostic port. Amongst the various things the gadget can display is speed.
The speed displayed by the speedo is lower than the speed by ScanGauge by about 5-7 km.
The GPS indicated speed agrees exactly with the ScanGauge at all times.
When travelling through road works with one of those big sign speed indicators (I have checked this at many road works) they indicate exactly what my GPS indicated speed is.
Accordingly, I drive as per the gadget and GPS (when in use) to decide at what velocity progress shall be made at….

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12
RadioVK 7:20 pm
05 Dec 12
#

I believe that the fine for failing to identify the driver of a company vehicle that has recived a speeding fine may be as high as $10,000, although I could be wrong about that, but I do know it’s extremely high compared to the actual speeding fine. The rationale behind it is to stop companies protecting bad drivers, and particularly, their demerit points.

If you think that the fine should be disputed, it’s up to the driver to do it. What you would need to do is identify the driver to the police, wait for them to issue the fine to the driver, and then have them lodge a dispute. You can provide any evidence of the speedo being inaccurate, and back them up in writing or whatever, but it’s up to them to actually challenge it.

As for the 10% rule for speeding fines, I believe it’s actually a myth. Technically if you’re pulled over by an officer and issued a fine on the spot, you can be fined for only 1km over the limit if he feels like it. Speed cameras are a different matter though. To trigger the camera, I believe you have to exceed the speed limit by more than 5km/h for more than 3 seconds.

I’m happy to be corrected on any or all of this by anyone who actually knows what their talking about. I’m relying on a random access memory that gets more and more random every day…

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13
Woody Mann-Caruso 7:27 pm
05 Dec 12
#

The person driving it had noted a discrepancy in the vehicle speedometer – vs the GPS which indicated the vehicle was ‘out’ a bit.

Unless you confirmed the report yourself by driving it around and directly observing the discrepancy (which I hope you did before you got the tyres replaced):

The person driving it was doing 67 in a 60 zone.
The person driving it saw the speed camera and knew they were busted.
The person driving it made up a bullsh*t story about the GPS.

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14
RaTTyRaTT 7:33 pm
05 Dec 12
#

Hi All,

thank you for the input and comments. I have decided that I will approach it in two ways, firstly by approaching the Vic Police with the information about the speedo reading and the way we resolve that, (only to get the notification.) If they withdraw it, all well and good.
If they don’t withdraw it, as I see it as not fair on the employee that we gave them a car and it had the issue – plus to be honest, when dealing with/driving in all other states, there is a 10% varience applied to speed, which was originally outlined in the NSW Ombudsman’s report on speed camera’s, so has been in effect for a while. Since I can’t say to the victorian police that their laws are retarded, I believe it better for the company to just pay the fine if they don’t accept our reasonable response. From that, we may look at a 1/5 to 1/4 cost recovery to the employee, for being a goose in Anal Victoria. 😀 go figure.

Appreciate your help all. :-)

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15
KB1971 8:49 pm
05 Dec 12
#

Ratty tat tat, which way was the inaccuracy?

ADR18/03 allows a speedometer variance of 10% + 4Km / hour. This variance is only allowable when the speedometer is over reading ie: when the vehicle is traveling slower than the speedometer is indicating. At no point is the speedometer allowed read slower than the vehicle speed (the old 10% either was was changed when 18/03 was introduced).

Vehicle manufacturers test the speedometers on a piece of equipment called a rolling road (a type of dynamometer) which is calibrated to meet the requirements of the ADR, ECE or whatever regulation the speedo has been tested to that is accepted by the ADR.

So, your speedometer at 100km/ h can be up to 14 km out but still be within the requirements of the law provided the vehicle is traveling slower than indicated.

If you were going to take it to court I doubt the argument “oh my GPS says it’s out” will fly, you would need to get it tested to the ADR for evidence.

This leaves the highly likely possibility that your employee was actually speeding.

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