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VIC Booked before passing a speed sign..

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by SammyA, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Well, my day just went from crap to crappier...
    Pulled out of a side street onto Mountain Hwy (a 3 lane hwy), no speed sign anywhere, figure it would probably be an 80. Accelerate to just under 80, get to the next intersection and still no speed sign. The boys in blue ask me to pull over.

    "I've pulled you over because we've lasered you at 78?"
    "It's an 80 zone isn't it?" I replied
    "It's a 60"
    "I had only just pulled out of a street there was no speed sign, I dont live here, this is my first visit here, I guessed it to be an 80 zone"
    "Yeah we saw you pull out" he replied..

    Fairness would say you'd at least let me pass a speed sign first?
    Also I don't now how I can contest this anyway as the description just says "Mountain Hwy" it doesn't say where on Mountain Hwy... Melbournian's would know, its a very long road..

    Am I fresh outta luck? should I just wear it like I man?
    Officers we surprised how clean my record was, no fines for over 2 years!
    3 points $239 for this one :-(
  2. Mate,
    My sympathies to you. I received my 1st ever speeding fine in similar fashion to yours ~3mths ago, with the police officer also surprised (commended me...yeah, thanks) on my clean record at the time, in over 20yrs of driving.

    He advised me (as I was also aware, from a tv documentary on this topic, as well as previous threads herein) to write to VicPol, applying for Leniency of this Infringement. All I can do to assist you is to perhaps try the same approach, accompanying with your letter the reason you believed it was 80km/hr, admitting to the mistake, that you'll be more vigilant in future etc etc...
    There's no guarantees of a successful, fine/demerit-free outcome, as was my case, but it is worth a try.
    Even with a valid reason, my case was unsuccessful, as my speed was 'not under 10km/hr', so even a clean record didn't warrant any 'reward' or leniency (reducing to perhaps 1 demerit point, lower fine ?) from the officer...
    It's worth a try, and based on the stats mentioned on the tv documentary (Current Affair ?), of all cases where leniency is applied for, ~ 50% are successful.

    Good luck.
  3. Default speed limits come into play in these sorts of situations, wouldn't they? Rural areas have a limit of 100, other areas are 50, unless there is a sign to indicate otherwise (in NSW).

    Not trying to rain on your parade but the whole "there was no sign" thing may not work in your favour here.

    EDIT: can't find anything to back it up so take the first part with salt.
  4. Welcome to Melbourne, and thank you for your donation,
    F#ck it stinks, but thats the way it is here.
  5. Yes that is the case

    Built-up areas
    The speed limit in a built-up area is 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) unless signed otherwise. A built-up area is where there are buildings and/or houses next to the road or there is street lighting at intervals not over 100 metres apart for a distance of 500 metres or more.

    but common sense should apply. If you pull out on to a major road and do 50 K until you see a posted sign then you will be mown down by a double B truck and end up road pizza.

    I would say because the OP's driving record is good a letter asking for leniency may get the fine rescinded. Worth a try anyway. :)
  6. i thought Mountain Hwy was 120.
    sorry to hear about your loss,
    but if you had of been doing 180 he would'nt of got you in that traffic., live and learn eh
    hope the **** chokes on a donut.
  7. I'm very very interested in this topic. There are counter arguments to made about driving to the default limit, because that could be as low as 40 in some instances. And doing 50 in an 80 zone is a recipe for disaster too.

    Jump on http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/ and search/ask on the forum would be the first port of call. I'd be interested to see if you have grounds to have the fine struck, and I'd be interested to see what Justus can dig out of the web on the topic.

    For those playing at home, I live near a freeway exit that doesn't have a speed limit applied to it. Meaning I'm still in a hundred zone when i come off the freeway until i pass the first 80 sign. A copper sits down the road and likes to zing people from time to time. I'm pretty sure the legal definition of a speed zone is something along the lines of "you are in one until such time as you pass a sign indicating you are in another one".

    If it's something like that, then in the OP's case, if he's come out of a side street that's 50, he's stuck doing fiddy till he passes another sign. One of those quirks of 'law', and another example of how it can be dumber than a human. Could be wrong though. Keen to find out.
  8. Criminal offences must (normally) have a guilty act and a guilty mind. However speeding is a strict liability offence which means it must have a guilty act only, but does not need a guilty mind. Circumstances like the OP mentions might be mitigating circumstances as a reduction in penalty in Court before a magistrate, but basically there is no defence to a strict liabilty offence - you either committted the offence or you didn't. You're guilty regardless of fault or ignorance of the law.

    Have a read of this case:
  9. I've always thought the same. Although on my route to work I turn off a 70kph road onto one that's not signposted until much further up as an 80kph zone. Yet on the reverse trip that short section between the 80 zone and turnoff onto the 70 zone is actually signposted as 60kph (the signs only point one way). Still never quite worked out if that means you can only do 70 in one direction, or whether one of these days I'm likely going to have to contest a speeding fine on the basis of "how the f*&k am I supposed to stay under the limit when there's nothing to say what the limit is".

    If you do contest it Sammy be sure to let us all know how it turns out. I'm sure you won't be alone in being pinged for not having magic psychic abilities to read signposts without going past them.
  10. The default speed limit in urban limits in victoria is 50km/h.

    So, if you didn't see a speed limit sign, you would have to assume 50km/h.

    Shitty, yes, but pretty clear.

    As others have said, jump on the traffic law forum for some advice, good luck!
  11. applying for a review wont help you mate... They only issue warnings for less than 10 over.. As others have said, jump on traffic law forum but unless you elect to take it to court and get found not guily you wont have much hope. and it will cost more than the fine to be found not guilty. Traffic law is stuffed now.

    I'll call ya in the next few days.
  12. If it's called Mountain Highway how could you take that to be an urban limit zone? Around here Mountain and Highway imply rural area to me. See this is why they are called pigs :)
  13. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the 'built up area' zones are defined by street lighting in the absence of any other signage. If there is no street lighting you may be able to argue that without a speed sign you couldn't reasonably have known that the limit was less than the open road limit of 100.

    Edit. Here's the definition:

    built-up area, in relation to a length of road, means an area in
    which either of the following is present for a distance of at
    least 500 metres or, if the length of road is shorter than
    500 metres, for the whole road—
    (a) buildings, not over 100 metres apart, on land next to
    the road;
    (b) street lights not over 100 metres apart;

    If either of these were present you should have stuck to 50 until you knew otherwise. Yes, it is a trap. And it worked.
  14. That's bloody disgusting!
  15. I also have an interest in this and have many a discussion with Vic Rds over perceived lack of signage. Does your exit have an "End Freeway" sign?

    And "you are in one until such time as you pass a sign indicating you are in another one". is correct on a length of road (basic definition a road you don't turn off) But there is loads of cases that if you turn onto a road and did not see the sign because you were not looking or that it was obstructed by say a truck or the length of road was sign posted before you entered it then bad luck to you as you should have known as ignorance is no excuse.

    I'd be inclined to ask for caution whilst admitting the offence,stating your clean record and putting in all the mitigating circumstances. A review on the other hand would be a waste of time.
  16. I got done doing 60 in a 50 zone. It was in the west end of the city, 4 lanes (2 each way) seperated by a double tram track and on the other side of me was a river.

    Due to the non-built up nature of the area I happily crawled along at 60k/ph until a flash went off behind me. A few weeks later, when I received the infringement notice, I wrote to the Infringements Court and requested it to be converted to an official warning instead of points/fine. I explained the speed I was doing and the fact that due to the layout of the area, I believed I was doing the correct speed. A few weeks later I got a letter confirming that they were marking it as a warning and cancelling the points/fine.

    So basically, write it and explain what happened. If you have a good record they often allow a single offence to go without punishment (I hadn't received a fine in over 4 years before this).
  17. just some further info re warnings - from - http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10369

    * Hold a current driver's licence, including probationary, or current learner driver's permit.
    * Have not been issued with a speeding, other traffic fine or official warning within the previous two years.
    * Were caught doing less than 10 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.
    * Do not deny that you committed the offence.
  18. Mountain highway has a large urban component in it.
  19. hmmm......I've got a funny feeling you're going to tell me I should pull it down :LOL: