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Corporate Notification?????

By 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

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29 Responses to Corporate Notification?????
#1
NoAddedMSG9:20 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.

#2
deye9:51 am, 05 Dec 12

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

#3
NellyBean10:07 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..

#4
NoAddedMSG10:33 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.

#5
Charlie5710:47 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.

#6
tim_c11:46 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).

#7
Mr Evil12:42 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?

#8
Charlie574:21 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.

#9
ps01045:05 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.

#10
Masquara6:05 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?

#11
Pork Hunt6:16 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….

#12
RadioVK7:20 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…

#13
Woody Mann-Caruso7:27 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.

#14
RaTTyRaTT7:33 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. :-D go figure.

Appreciate your help all. :-)

#15
KB19718:49 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.

#16
KB19718:51 pm, 05 Dec 12

Sorry, rattyrat, I misread your name.

#17
wildturkeycanoe6:25 am, 06 Dec 12

Agreed on the point that zero tolerance places drivers further at risk of running into someone or something because their eyes are glued to the speedometer. We are humans after all, it only takes a couple of seconds to increase your speed by up to 10km/h. So, if we spend every 2 seconds looking at the speedo, every 5 seconds looking at the mirrors, every 10 seconds reading the endless swag of roadside safety bulletins then 80% of the time we aren’t paying attention to our actual driving!!
Why fine people for being human – let us concentrate on what’s important instead of being paranoid about our wallets.

#18
liability6:50 am, 06 Dec 12

In Victoria the fine for a company failing to identify the driver of a vehicle is $845.

You won’t have any joy saying that your speedo was out, they get a lot of that. You will almost certainly get the standard response saying that if you wish to dispute the speed you will need to take the matter to Court.

You should realise that there are two separate issues here. The first is that you if you do not identify the driver as requested that is an offence for which the company will be fined $845. The second issue is the speeding offence, and that is only relevant if you have identified the driver to the police.

If you fail to identify the driver and are fined for that, it is the end of the matter. If you want to dispute the speeding fine you will have to identify the driver first, wait until the driver receives the fine in their name, and then dispute that.

You cannot say “we don’t know who was driving” and then dispute the speed.

#19
troll-sniffer11:07 am, 06 Dec 12

If your employee has points available and agrees to cop the fine, you can re-imburse them. I copped a less than 15km/hr penalty in Victoria a few years ago and the one point demerit wasn’t debited to my ACT licence. The employee won’t be any worse off as long as they don’t misbehave in Victoria for a few years.

#20
Lookout Smithers3:48 am, 07 Dec 12

Assuming you mean that the GPS displays speed reading, and there were grounds for taking it as being more accurate, I would think ‘out’ means incorrect speed reading? But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle? True though, I have not owned a car for about half a decade, even then they were all humble shit heaps without new tech like nowadays. But I would think, assuming you had speedometer assessed and replaced, you would have a good case to state before a perin court as the car was brand new etc. All that can be validated. But then the GPS reading issue might be up for discussion. Like why didn’t you slow down on noticing this etc …
You don’t have to identify him at all or even respond. Sherifs office here is useless anyway. At last count , and quite funny, Victorian tax payers were owed just over 700 million in unpaid fines. Fuck I laughed. The rate at which fines here are issued and to the amount of is criminal, more so than deliberate speeding I say.
I keep saying this and probably not so relevant for traffic offences, but still can’t stress it enough. You don’t ever have to talk to the police!! Name, address, DOB. End conversation, steer any enquiries through your pref lawyers office. They will happily help, albeit sometimes for a little helping of your trust fund. However here you have two options and I recommend you do the first, namely, : Elect to have the matter heard
If you do not want your offence to be dealt with as an infringement notice, you can exercise your right to elect to take your infringement matter to the Magistrates’ Court to be determined at a formal hearing.
Personally if I were in your shoes I would Just pay the fine and then let the employee know the situation. Small cost for piece of mind knowing information didn’t needless get handed to vicpol.
But if you are not up for a battle and want to comply then you have to supply a nominated driver if you know them. If you don’t you will cop the fine and then be fine again for failing to supply that info. They won’t accept payment from a corporation so you have to respond with either you details or your employees. And now you can’t supply yours because thats offence as you would be knowingly suppling false or misleading information. Evidence readily accessible right here, the digital version of paper trail on which I now write to you. You might ask Former High court Judge Enfield’s opinion here, BAM! Not at all yr option if you have any good sense. For other info mate, go to the compliance victoria site.
http://online.fines.vic.gov.au
I would have a punt in court , tastefully and if you’re being honest, justifiably. Best wishes and please post how it goes should it be worthy tale.
Regards

#21
davo10112:09 pm, 07 Dec 12

Charlie57 said :

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)

I think most GPS’s calculate speed based on the carrier phase data ie: they don’t just use where we are now and where we were just a moment ago, so going round bends wont have an effect. What does have an effect is the filtering that is applied to what’s displayed, so as you speed up or slow down the displayed speed will lag behind. From many a boring trip in the cruise controlled work vehicle we’ve discovered that, different GPS receivers give the same speed reading and timing over the various odometer checks usually confirms the GPS is within 0.5 km/h.

#22
KB197112:44 pm, 07 Dec 12

davo101 said :

Charlie57 said :

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)

I think most GPS’s calculate speed based on the carrier phase data ie: they don’t just use where we are now and where we were just a moment ago, so going round bends wont have an effect. What does have an effect is the filtering that is applied to what’s displayed, so as you speed up or slow down the displayed speed will lag behind. From many a boring trip in the cruise controlled work vehicle we’ve discovered that, different GPS receivers give the same speed reading and timing over the various odometer checks usually confirms the GPS is within 0.5 km/h.

Just going around corners does make a difference, I use Strava to track my riding and a Garmin GPS Map 62S, so a reasonably good GPS. When I go to Sparrrow Hill riding there is always a 2km difference between the posted distance of the loop, my speedometer on the bike and the GPS.

The loop is 27km and the GPS always reads 25. If there is a tight set of switchbacks it will not pick up all the distance traveled, it will cut across sections. It also does not follow the exact path of the tracks/roads. It close but no banana.

If I do the loop in a group, the distances and elevations are always different between riders, some times by a km.

On my commute, there is always a slight difference in distance and elevation and that is using the same device every time.

So, I don’t trust GPS for absolute accuracy at all.

What I forgot to mention previously is that all equipment has an uncertainty of measurement (tolerance). So, if the rolling road has a tolerance of + or – 2km/h and the speedo has a tolerance of + or – 2km/h then there is a potential 4km/h inaccuracy there. However, this inaccuracy is usually allowable by the standards the vehicle has to meet.

#23
davo1012:34 pm, 07 Dec 12

KB1971 said :

Just going around corners does make a difference, I use Strava to track my riding …..So, I don’t trust GPS for absolute accuracy at all.

I think you are confusing calculating distance travelled by GPS and measuring velocity. GPS’s punch out a solution once a second (or more often in some) of where the receiver is and how fast it is moving. The position is usually claimed to be accurate to with 15m but the velocity is 0.1m/s.

#24
KeenGolfer5:26 pm, 07 Dec 12

Lookout Smithers said :

But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle?

It does because it changes the rolling diameter. Going from bald tyres to new, or a different tyre profile or changing wheel size all has an effect on the speedo, and it can make a considerable difference.

#25
KB19716:23 pm, 07 Dec 12

davo101 said :

KB1971 said :

Just going around corners does make a difference, I use Strava to track my riding …..So, I don’t trust GPS for absolute accuracy at all.

I think you are confusing calculating distance travelled by GPS and measuring velocity. GPS’s punch out a solution once a second (or more often in some) of where the receiver is and how fast it is moving. The position is usually claimed to be accurate to with 15m but the velocity is 0.1m/s.

Nope, I understand how it works. Just giving my experience on how I get different readings with all the stats on the GPS every time I ride even on set routes. The only thing that varies on my physical speedometer is the time it takes me to get there.

I guess I am saying that there is no way of calibrating a GPS unit considering all the other factors involved that cannot be calibrated at the same time such as sattelites, cloud cover, magnetic interference in the signal, shielding from vegetation/mountains ect. Unless you had access to NASA…………

#26
KB19716:26 pm, 07 Dec 12

KB1971 said :

davo101 said :

KB1971 said :

Just going around corners does make a difference, I use Strava to track my riding …..So, I don’t trust GPS for absolute accuracy at all.

I think you are confusing calculating distance travelled by GPS and measuring velocity. GPS’s punch out a solution once a second (or more often in some) of where the receiver is and how fast it is moving. The position is usually claimed to be accurate to with 15m but the velocity is 0.1m/s.

Nope, I understand how it works. Just giving my experience on how I get different readings with all the stats on the GPS every time I ride even on set routes. The only thing that varies on my physical speedometer is the time it takes me to get there.

I guess I am saying that there is no way of calibrating a GPS unit considering all the other factors involved that cannot be calibrated at the same time such as sattelites, cloud cover, magnetic interference in the signal, shielding from vegetation/mountains ect. Unless you had access to NASA…………

I just re-read my original post again & realized that I did not mention velocity. The average speed and actual time traveled is usually different between my GPS and the speedo. Same as in group rides, every body gets a different time.

#27
Henry8212:54 am, 08 Dec 12

Either way your employee broke the speed limit, with or without the included speedo “error”. Tell them, then direct the fine their way

#28
Lookout Smithers8:11 pm, 16 Dec 12

KeenGolfer said :

Lookout Smithers said :

But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle?

It does because it changes the rolling diameter. Going from bald tyres to new, or a different tyre profile or changing wheel size all has an effect on the speedo, and it can make a considerable difference.

Bigger tyres does, new tires wouldn’t unless they were

KeenGolfer said :

Lookout Smithers said :

But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle?

It does because it changes the rolling diameter. Going from bald tyres to new, or a different tyre profile or changing wheel size all has an effect on the speedo, and it can make a considerable difference.

But if it was a new car and the tyres were replaced with a different size tyre and then tested as correct and accurate, wouldn’t that mean the tyres fitted before were wrong? I might not understand this fully.

#29
KB19718:08 am, 17 Dec 12

Lookout Smithers said :

KeenGolfer said :

Lookout Smithers said :

But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle?

It does because it changes the rolling diameter. Going from bald tyres to new, or a different tyre profile or changing wheel size all has an effect on the speedo, and it can make a considerable difference.

Bigger tyres does, new tires wouldn’t unless they were

KeenGolfer said :

Lookout Smithers said :

But then I am confused about why you put new tyres put on it? I am not sure how that would affect a speed of a vehicle?

It does because it changes the rolling diameter. Going from bald tyres to new, or a different tyre profile or changing wheel size all has an effect on the speedo, and it can make a considerable difference.

But if it was a new car and the tyres were replaced with a different size tyre and then tested as correct and accurate, wouldn’t that mean the tyres fitted before were wrong? I might not understand this fully.

Not necessarily as there is quite a large tolerance in the ADR. What we have not found out yet is if this tolerance was outside the allowance which I suspect it wasn’t as the OP has not answered my question.

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