25 November 2022

Nausea from COVID-19 vax not good enough reason to speed, tribunal rules

| Albert McKnight
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Boxes of COVID-19 vaccine

A man has argued he sped while under the nauseating effects of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. Photo: Karyn Starmer.

A man has failed in his attempt to fight a speeding ticket after trying to argue he sped in the centre of Canberra because he was nauseous from his AstraZenneca vaccine for COVID-19 and was anxious to get home.

Justin Bathurst tried to have his fine withdrawn in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) in October 2022, according to a recently published decision.

He admitted a speed camera had caught him driving at 48 km/h in a 40 km/h zone at the intersection of Northbourne Avenue, Barry Drive and Cooyong Street in Civic on 11 July 2021.

But he said he had been driving home soon after receiving his first AstraZeneca vaccine for the coronavirus. He said he felt well initially, but by the time he reached Northbourne Avenue he began feeling severely nauseous.

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Mr Bathurst said he was almost home and his focus was on getting there before becoming more sick when he sped, with his thinking being, “I want to get home. I need to get home. I’m going to be sick”.

Last year, he asked Access Canberra to withdraw the fine, arguing that when he sped he was overwhelmed with nausea, was on a busy road, was unable to stop and must have momentarily lost track of his speed.

But a delegate of the Chief Police Officer wrote to him to say the fine would not be withdrawn, partly because having nausea is not a reason to exceed the speed limit and not a medical emergency. Mr Bathurst then asked ACAT for a review of the decision.

In response, the Chief Police Officer’s representative argued the application for withdrawal did not come with supporting evidence to confirm he had been nauseous at the time.

Also, they argued while Mr Bathurst couldn’t have stopped on Northbourne Avenue, he could have pulled over onto side roads to deal with his nausea.

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When coming to a decision, ACAT Member Walter Hawkins noted that Mr Bathurst said nausea was a known side effect of having the vaccination and that if he had known he would need supporting evidence, then he would have gone to a medical practitioner at the time.

But Member Hawkins said the difficulty for him was that he did not go to a practitioner.

He also said Mr Bathurst didn’t have to go straight home and could have stopped at side streets.

Member Hawkins said the exceptional circumstances needed for the tribunal to withdraw the fine hadn’t been established and confirmed the decision not to withdraw the fine.

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I worked with a woman who told the policeman that the reason she was speeding was that she was in a hurry to get home because it was raining and the roads are dangerous when wet.

Should have told the court he was speeding to a Climate Protest

William Newby7:13 am 27 Nov 22

That camera is just a revenue machine, has NOTHING to do with road safety for pedestrians as they are controlled by the lights also.
If the ACT Gov are going to lie to us about road safety I guess it’s worth a shot lying to them about our reasons for being over 40Km.

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