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Today’s traffic story

JD114 17 April 2008 66

Seems a colleague’s friend was driving along the Monaro Highway yesterday chatting on the old mobile (as you do) when she noticed a police car was behind her. Within a second she had mumbled gotta go and literally threw the phone down hoping against hope she had not been seen. But it was not to be, the flashing lights came on and she was pulled over.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” the cop asked.
“Ummm yes…. because I was talking on my mobile” she replied with trepidation.
“Actually you were speeding, 98 in an 80 zone” he replied, “but now I’m going to book you for that as well!”

Net result: over $600 in fines and presumably 6 points off the old licence account as well.

Moral of the story? Well I guess it would have to be: don’t assume the cop knows you’re half as guilty as you really are!

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66 Responses to Today’s traffic story
Proud Local 11:07 am 27 Apr 08

Yes, agree completely Thumper. Most people thankfully only have brushes with the law on the road so this becomes their main focus. There is a LOT more to Policing then giving out traffic tickets unless you work for the traffic unit itself.

I don’t think it would be the best use of my time to pull over every driver that didn’t indicate, was doing 65 in in 60 zone or went through an amber light. Although if I considered any of those offences dangerous given the circumstances I certainly would.

Thumper 8:05 am 27 Apr 08

I guess that, for a lot of people, the only contact they have with police is when they have been pulled over for some sort of driving offence.

Proud Local 12:48 am 27 Apr 08

I admit, I am a bit loathe to be too honest on here, I am risking a bit by typing what I do but I am trying to be honest and constructive in what I write. I assume that the average crim does does not view this website given what I know about them. But nor do I want to give the average traffic offender some kind of advantage of knowledge of how to get away with traffic offences. Nor do I wish to give my identity away to any colleagues of superiors of mine that may visit this site.

It’s a fine line I tread I agree, but I’m trying to be helpful and make people understand our perspective. It’s like any job that you observe from the outside looking in, there is a lot more to it then meets the eye and mine is a very public career at that. I do wish to make the point that all Police have their own levels of discretion though and if in doubt, obey the law or face the potential consequences! That way you have nothing to really worry about. I’m just trying to be realistic about it and put a human perspective on it all.

minime2 11:22 pm 26 Apr 08

Respect … now there is a word for social instruction. And driving.

I go with Proud … even way back, there never was, never has been, never even suggested by any senior officer that there was/is a quota.

What it comes down to is a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, like any job. Sure, an officer can come in with triple the average (maybe pissant*) tickets, or just a few … just like say, a mechanic can service four cars a day and his mate alongside 10.; a brickie build a wall or his mate half-a-house. Ya do your job. Your employer will notice.

* warning … this adjective may induce convulsions in some roadusers who also use Riot.

Thumper 8:07 pm 26 Apr 08

A word of advice Hamilton.

Proud Local is a cop. He has come on here and told it how it is.

I think you can respect this.

I certainly can.

Spideydog 1:20 pm 26 Apr 08

You really don’t get sarcasim do you ant… My point was, proving tailgating is harder than just “oh look tailgating, guilty”.

Rear-enders aren’t always caused by tail-gating, it can be caused by in-attention, ie driver at a safe distance behind vehicle in front, looks down for a few seconds to change radio settings, then runs into rear of vehicle in front that has stopped for some reason. This would be negligent driving, not tailgating.

I say again….To prove the offence of tail-gating observation time is needed, people will rarely tailgate for an extended period with a marked police vehicle observing. People, if they contest a tail-gating ticket can come up with all sorts of reasons and defences for being seen at that particular time travelling too close to the vehicle in front, ie un-expected closing of gap when vehicle in front braked etc, etc. Police need to observe the alleged “tail-gating” to discount these defences and also importantly, make sure that this person IS actually tail-gating. IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE.

Hamilton 11:26 am 26 Apr 08

Ant, that is the exact reason i replied with a post. I have every respect for the police and what they do – they are under paid, under resourced and have one of the most thankless jobs on the planet.

my point is that someone could take what proud local has written and make a story out of it, especially a program like the two that i mentioned before.

All i’m tryin to say is that proud local should be a bit less detailed in his comments as some red neck from queanbeyan is likely to pick up on them and take them to ACA, TT or even Jerry Springer!!

Keep up the good work proud local, i know what a tough and thankless job you guys have.

ant 10:24 am 26 Apr 08

Actually, I think it’s fair enough that an anonymous policeperson can come and put their side of the story. I’d hate to think that people could threaten them and go beat up a story out of it. The fact that there’s tons of admin work attached to anything they do nowadays is a point that probably needs to be made, so that at least we’re aware of it, and at best, maybe people will start thinking of ways to make police more effective.

As to the other poster, rear-enders are precisely why tailgating IS an offence. so you are actually saying it’s OK for them to tailgate as when they smash in to someone’s car, with all the attendant injury, destruction of property etc, they’ll get theirs. Yeah, but some hapless citizen will lose their car, possibly their health, and that’s OK? Your statement shows that road rules are failing, because they’re not being enforced.

Hamilton 10:01 am 26 Apr 08

Proud Local, you make a couple of statements that concern me – “most of the time what they are doing is not overly dangerous and I tend to turn a blind eye to it” Not overly dangerous? So what they are doing is dangerous, but not overly. Interesting, where do you draw the line? So your message here is the public can break the law and endanger the lives of other motorists as long as it is not overly dangerous and you will turn a blind eye to it – going against everything that law enforcement and the AFP stands for.

A word of advice my friend – you shouldn’t be making these statements in a public forum and I am sure the AFP have guidelines against you doing so. This is the kind of thing that ends up on trashy shows like a current affair and today tonight!

Proud Local 7:02 pm 25 Apr 08

No, no, NO! Man if there is only ONE point here that I want to make is that there is NO quota system in the ACT alright? Can we all be clear on that?

However if every month it was revealed that you booked NOBODY or very few drivers, valid criticism could be made of you for not doing your job properly. Lets face it, there are plenty of driving offences to be found, we all seem them every day. So whilst there is no quota system, we are always on the lookout for various driving offenses, particularly when the shift is a little quiet.

I have already made it clear that I could book every 2nd car for not indicating but then most of the time what they are doing is not overly dangerous and I tend to turn a blind eye to it. If they did it repeatably with me behind them then I would probably ticket them for just being plain disrespectful to me as a Police Officer and plain annoying to all other vehicles.

So no ant, we DON’T go after easy takes, no one in my squad does anyway but all officers have their own tolerance levels and pet hates.

As for Genie with his:

“Several days I wish i was a police officer driving around so i can book all the idiots speeding to excess and weaving in and out of traffic… but it just seems the real police dont care anymore.”

Thats all fine and well until a lot of these drivers decide to contest the ticket and court briefs come flooding into your inbox. Thus you spend all of your time inside the station doing hours of paperwork attached to each brief instead of getting out and about doing “real” Policing whatever that means.

Does everyone see the problem here? The more people we book, the more they dispute it, and the more time we spend inside the station doing annoying paperwork. All this for what really are trivial matters in the big scheme of law and order. Talk about disincentive to give out tickets. Hence why I tend to only do it for more serious/dangerous offensives that I clearly observed myself and are not easily disputed. If there is any doubt in my mind, I don’t issue the ticket.

Hope that clears some things up a bit.

Spideydog 6:09 pm 21 Apr 08

Well ant, it seems you have all the answers my friend. Why don’t to you go out and apply for the afp and show em how it’s done. Do you know what it takes to prove the offence of “tailgating”. Observation time is needed, and people tend not to “tailgate” for an extended time when there is a marked police vehicle near them.

But rest assurred that these heiness offenders do end up getting thier tickets, when they rear end someone else and then it is proven they were tailgating.

So I take it that speeding, mobile phones, running red lights, drink driving aren’t serious and are easy takes?

ant 9:13 am 21 Apr 08

Hamilton said :

I think the quota system is great, nothing like putting measures in place to ensure that our tax payer funded public servants are doing their jobs.

Except what we’re seeing is cops going after easy takes, rather than general stuff like tailgating, queuing across intersections and other anti-social behaviour. So certain things are being pinged, others are let slide.

Hamilton 8:53 am 21 Apr 08

Proud Local – Are you more likely to let someone off if you have filled your quota for the day? I would imagine there are enough bad drivers in Canberra not to have to worry about getting your 3 for the day. Although i’d imagine you are better off filling your quota earlier in the shift so your not stressing out towards the end. Do you get a black mark against your name if you dont fill your quota?

I think the quota system is great, nothing like putting measures in place to ensure that our tax payer funded public servants are doing their jobs.

Keep up the good work.

Spideydog 6:43 pm 20 Apr 08


#1 Where you there?

#2 Where you there? Did you take into account that the police may have been on the way to a higher priority job, and did the right thing by stopping to make sure all were ok, before responding to the more urgent job they were already going too? Did anyone at any time mention to the police the other driver was drunk? How did you know the other driver was drunk? Who was it that ruled your sister was the driver at fault?

#3 How was the accident the fault of the illegally parked vehicle? (not saying it wasn’t, but how did it cause the accident)

What did your sisters insurance company say about the accident and who was at fault? Usually, if it clearly wasn’t thier customers fault, the insurance company would fight it out with the other “at fault” party/s to re-coup costs from the other insurance or the other driver/s.

This is not intended to “have a go” at you or anything like that, but quite few people post “stories” and “incidents” on here they weren’t even present for, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s hearsay, even if it does come from a family member or trusted friend. Sometimes people are honestly trying to tell the story as it was, but “exaggerate” it a little or don’t tell “all” the story, which can change how the incident actually happened or circumstances as to what occurred, was said etc, etc.

Genie 2:56 pm 20 Apr 08

I have some interesting stories about police officers that make me disrespect them a little bit…

#1 is a mate drove home his 4 drunken mates from Civic one night… gets pulled over by the police. He was unlicenced. So the police office told them someone else in the car had to drive. So one of the drunk passengers took over the driving home. No fines, no RBT’s nothing !!! A little sad and the police’s behalf.

#2 My sister recently had a car accident, with a minute a police car was just driving past. Got out to make sure no one was hurt then left straight away. The guy that hit my sister was drunk. Accident however is ruled her fault as the police never breathlysed him at the scene. Later when filing the police report we were told unless the police witnessed the accident, the other driver could have disputed he has a drink the second he get out of the car, which would have rendered the test useless… I’m sorry but what a crock of shit !!!!!!

#3.. My sisters accident was due to the result of an illegally parked car blocking her view. Yet the police officers didn’t book the car.

Several days I wish i was a police officer driving around so i can book all the idiots speeding to excess and weaving in and out of traffic… but it just seems the real police dont care anymore.

vandam 7:33 am 20 Apr 08

Too true MRB, I know a few of the local cops who have let kiddies off (for minor offences) because they were honest and polite. Same with traffic stops I would imagine.

If your polite and still get a ticket, well wear it and just pay the fine.

MRB 4:44 am 20 Apr 08

SkipDaRoo….”Dispute the talking on mobile, the Police can not go into court and say they saw you talking on it, judge will throw it out.”

Firstly, a Judge will never hear this matter – it will always be a Magistrate.

Secondly, the offence is not TALK on a mobile, it is USE a mobile. You use it whilst in control of a vehicle – whether talking, checking text messsages or anything else, the result is the same. If deemed necessary, the police will get your mobile number (legally so…) and do a check on calls made/received and match it to the the time/date that they had a chat with you.

This whole “deny everything” act is stupid. If someone says straight out “I didn’t do it” – even if a cop clearly saw them – imagine what the cop thinks. It’s a lot to do with acknowledging that you made a mistake, and that you’re a responsible driver and accept that. If you flat out deny any wrong doing when the cop(s) have clearly seen the error of your ways, it is inevitable that the cop will think that you’re a arrogant member of the driving public and as such really can’t use their discretion.

It’s hard to show you’ve learnt your lesson and changed your driver attitude when you essentially lie to the police by saying “I wasn’t speeding/I didn’t go through that red light etc etc…”

The people on this thread, and the other related threads, who suggest to “deny everything” are really quite immature. If you were committing an offence and got caught, deal with it as an responsible adult should.

Spideydog 5:28 pm 19 Apr 08

Thanks Harley 😉

Lenient 5:01 pm 19 Apr 08

All we can hope for is a speedy loss of the remaining points.

minime2 12:06 am 19 Apr 08

carpet and curtains: “Do not get ouut of the car lady!” [she got thrown into a pool at aparty and HAD to take her clothes off to dry – you don’t get many excuses like that].

Saw some good use of resources and manpower the other day: three officers working radar on the GDE near that wide open bit at the AIS. Must be a black spot. Road safety. Or, “this will be fun”. Don’t know if they would get their money’s worth though; I use that stretch a lot and everyone seems to just putt along….

I do like a challenge though; pulled up alongside to a motorcycle officer at a set of lights the other week. Right next to him on the Harley. He looked over with a very slow turn of the head…thinking….thinking… and just nodded. A bit of adrenalin and sphincter work makes ya day.

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