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Disputing a speeding fine

By AG Canberra - 18 November 2008 78

Has anyone recently had the good fortune to dispute a speeding fine and be successful?

My wife recently recieved a speeding fine (from the fixed camera) on the Monaro Hwy while in the right merging lane about to enter Isabella Drive. We requested the pic and if you squint you can just make out our rego. However I have shown the pic to at least half a doz other people and none of them can make out our rego.

Also she was pinged for 101 in an 80 zone – which is completely out of character for her. This speed just doesn’t match up with the way she normally drives.

Does anyone know about:
A – how we go about mounting an effective dispute in court
B – calibration rules for these devices. The traffic ops section has refused to provide any of that info to us….
C – rules for the camera shooting across three lanes (though no other vehicle is visible there is the possibility one is present in the lane closest to the camera but the image doesn’t show it)

Thanks for any and all assistance.

What’s Your opinion?


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78 Responses to
Disputing a speeding fine
1
darkmilk 4:27 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Don’t know about cameras specifically, but if the speeding is that out of character that your wife hasn’t had a speeding ticket for 10 years or more then write in and plead leniency as she’ll probably get away with a warning. (You’ll need to attach the report saying this from any states she held a licence in anytime in those 10 years. A few years ago this cost something like $25 in one of the states and free here in the ACT?)

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2
PBO 4:31 pm
18 Nov 08
#

As far as I know, and I could be wrong. The cameras and detecting devices are not covered by the Department of Weights and Measures (or whatever they are called now) and therefore the calibration is going to be suspect. I would ask to see the paperwork for the last time that the unit in question was calibrated, who did it and what their qualifications were and when they say no, remind them that it is a piece of public equipment and therefore you have the right to see it. It might work as there have been many cases before the courts on this matter and some precedents have been set.

I would argue the matter if you are unhappy. Good luck.

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3
Jim Jones 4:39 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Anecdotally, the authorities make a a 10% margin for error allowance when dealing with speed recording devices, but the actual recorded margin of error is pretty negligible when it comes to fixed speed cameras. Obviously that’s not gonna cut it when the case is 101kph in an 80 zone.

To be honest, I’d suck it up and pay the fine. The ‘out of character’ argument just isn’t a defence.

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4
AG Canberra 4:41 pm
18 Nov 08
#

The out of character thing isn’t meant as a defence – more that I just can’t believe she was doing 101…which brings me to the calibration and across three lanes topics.

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5
dexi 4:53 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Pay the fine. Going to court costs. I think its $110 for the court appearance. Add to that a lawyer. If you think you have a case for it not being your car or you were not the driver then you should go in person to the red light camera office and present your case. They will tell you what your options are. Do not believe what you read on the back of the fine. Writing a letter does nothing. It sounds like you accept its your vehicle, so pay the fine and be done with it. Less, time, pain and effort.

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6
H1NG0 4:59 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Shit I have been fined too and that was out of character, but I still bloody did it and paid the consequence. As much as the speed van is a revenue raiser and an poor substitute for real cops doing real work, its the law and we have to deal with it. Pay the fine and be done with it. She needs to show some resposibility for her actions.

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7
bloodnut 4:59 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Dispute everything on principle.

I have a friend that has contested every traffic infrigement and despite dozens of charges, continues to win based on their clean record. This seems to work as each previous unsubstantiated offence has been been removed from record.

If it’s not in your wife’s character she will have a clean record and almost definitely get off. If she has previous traffic offences then you should question the validity of your previous statement – but still contest. Not only does it feel so much better to go down fighting, but it is my long held belief that if everyone contested their traffic offences then the govt would reassess the cost-benefit of aggressively pursuing revenue in this manner.

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8
AG Canberra 5:01 pm
18 Nov 08
#

more than 20 years without a fine – so as I said it is completely out of character….

So anyone know of where I can find the regulations concerning the operation of these devices?

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9
cranky 5:04 pm
18 Nov 08
#

I have been nabbed at the same camera (89 in the 80) and in the same right hand lane. No doubt it was my car, though the plate was not legible. I suspect you get a low quality print of the original.

I’m fairly sure that in a previous thread on here, someone explained that the infringement notices are issued by an arm of the ACT public service. Any approach by you for a review of the fine is handled by ACT Police. Could be worth a try.

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10
Spam Box 5:04 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Write a letter disputing the speed in the very small hope they may downgrade the speed(probably wont though) – accept that it’s >95% chance your wife actually did speed and it’s not worth all the drama and expense to fight something your almost certainly going to lose anyway

Or tell em Marcus Einfeld was driving – whatever :-)

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11
caf 5:05 pm
18 Nov 08
#

All regulations are available at legislation.act.gov.au. Could take you a while to find them.

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12
Holden Caulfield 5:11 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Send them a picture of a seven legged spider as payment.

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13
miz 5:34 pm
18 Nov 08
#

RING first – there is a number on the invoice you received. They will tell you how to write/fax in. You do not want to formally dispute it as that involves the court and money as stated above by others.

It is highly likely she will have the fine waived if she has a good driving record, ie, no driving offences.

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14
pmm 5:35 pm
18 Nov 08
#

I got fined for speeding once… it was completely out of character for me to get caught…

As Jim Jones noted, even if the cameras were off, it is extremely unlikely they were 21km off. Your wife was speeding – the speed limit was 80, she was clearly going over (regardless of how fast over). Pay the fine.

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15
vandam 5:35 pm
18 Nov 08
#

Firstly, 20 years without a fine = 20 years without being caught!

Secondly, speed cameras, whilst might be revenue raisers, only raise revenue if motorists exceed the speed limit (mind you I think they give you an allowance of 10% +1).

Thirdly, Its going to cost you more going to court to dispute it.

At the end of the day your wife was caught speeding.

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