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Challenging a speeding fine... is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by ades, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. I'll keep this brief.

    Basically, I was booked last week in VIC for doing 78 in a 50 zone. This = 4 points, $278.00 and 1 month suspension.

    I want to challenge it for the following reasons.

    1. I was doing just under 70 as I had to avoid a 4wd turning out from a side street.
    2. When Clocked The 4wd was right behind me travelling faster.
    3. The officer was on his own
    4. He was using a Radar not a laser gun

    I argued it on the side of the road and the officer just said "what 4wd?"

    If I challenge it in court and lose, what are the repercussions/ costs?

  2. It's down to you. See a solicitor - they generally won't charge you for the first consultation but check first. They'll assess your case and give you a cost estimate.

    As it's a licence suspension it may be worth it. The solicitor will look at your case - and also evaluate you as a potential witness. If he thinks you have some sort of case and especially if he thinks you'll be credible in court then go for it.

    If you decide to go for it, since it's probably your word against the cop your credibility is crucial. Write down all the details NOW - everything you can remember about the 4WD, make, colour, est speed etc. etc. so that you can recite them when asked.

    Make sure that you can describe everything exactly and in detail. (That's why cops write things in notebooks)

    It's possible that if you win then you could get costs back... Possible but not likely. It's also possible that if it's dubious and you tell them you're challenging it that it might get withdrawn. The one thing that cops really hate is to lose in court. It look sbad on their record to get a bollocking from a magistrate.


    I got pinged, asked for it, was two weeks past calibration, got off as the equipment was not within spec.

  4. In January last year I received a speeding fine for doing 84 in a 50 zone, which was the same penalty as you stated below.

    Unfortunately for me, I had already accrued 8 demerit points, so this pushed me up to the magical 12 point mark.

    I decided to seek legal advice, to see if there was any way that I could challenge it. I was on the Yarra Boulevard in Kew, and nabbed by a lone motorcycle cop with a hand held radar.

    First up, I requested from all relevent documentation from FOI, which was stuff like the testing certificates for the radar he was using, the site selection criteria (which does not exists for non-camera operations), the certification of the radar operator etc.

    They took about 2 months, but everything arrived and was in order. From this, my lawyer said that if the court finds you guilty (which short of a miracle, they would), they can NOT lessen the suspension period, as it is written into the law that the minimum loss of licence period for that offence is 1 month, and if anything, they will extend it.

    So in the end, I accepted that I was speeding, pleaded guilty, prepared a nice heartfelt sorry to the community message for the court, copped the one month suspension, but claimed financial difficulties, (kids, mortgage etc), and they hit me with a $150 fine.

    The worst part though, was that I elected for the 12 month probation instead of the 3 month licence loss, and the start date for that was moved from January last year until the date the court found me guilty, which was not until July. Hence I have been on demerit point probation for 14 months, and still have a few to go.

    Whatever avenue you decide to take, remember that 70 is still a bit too fast for a 50 zone, and the state will spare no expense to disprove anything that you try and use to get out of it.

    Good luck
  5. Yes i think it is especially if you have a good record within the last 3-5 years this is a crutial point that can be used to your advantage.Secondly get your speedo gps tested as the first thing the police will say to you after you say i beleive the reading to be incorrect is when was your speedo checked.Then just submit the test and he will be a bit stumped,and the magistrate will see you have spent time and effort to defend yourself.worst case is the speed is reduced and you keep your licence or the police do a deal before hearing usually just before magistrate walks in
  6. Ask to see the reading and ask for the cert. It's a must when you think it could be dodgy. If you know you were doing 60 in a 50 zone and get pinged then don't worry but "if in doubt make them get it out" Hey that rhymes! yeah!

    If you're sure then go have a chat to a legal eagle can't hurt.

  7. Thanks,

    When I was pulled I did ask to see the reading and it was 80, right on the mark. The thing is, he could have done me for my aftermarket exhaust but didn't, he didn't check that my registration was current, he didn't even breathalise me. All of which I beleive is done when caught speeding.

    As for my history, I haven't had a speeding fine since 2002 and that was 65 in a 60 zone in my car. This is the first fine I have received in nearly 10 years riding. As far as credibility goes, I am a young (29) male who rides a motorcycle.

    I have gathered information on the "Kustom Falcon Hand held Radar" and it apparently can self calibrate. Does this mean that it does not have to be done on a regular basis by a certified technician?
  8. Got a mate who uses the same quote when out on the town hittin up the ladies and not knowing if they're real or fake :LOL:
  9. I'm not going to offer advice as such, just a reminder that loss of licence can have far reaching consequences, such as refusal of insurance, debarring you from certain jobs for life, etc. It will stay on your record pretty much forever.
    If I was in this position, I would certainly think about fighting to get the penalty reduced to a point or two. It's hard to tell if the court is likely to believe you over a cop (especially if he is prepared to lie about the 4WD) but in my case there would be a lot at stake, and I think I'd have a go.
  10. Ok, now i see lots of talk of calibration certificates. I have read the Australian Standards on hand-held speed measuring devices. They are calibrated by the operator using a tuning fork. I have witnessed this several times, but in the standard there is no mention of certificates. The standard also mentions (remember that this is an AUSTRALIAN Standard) says that they must be calibrated before use. Does that mean every single use or before it gets used for the next 6 months. I am trained through my job to use a breathe anyliser(cant even spell it!) and they have to be sent to the manufacturer for calibration every 6 mths. If anyone knows how to beat one of these in Qld , let me know by email as I also have hit the magic 12 point mark.

    Regards, Rob
  11. Mate, I'm having a little trouble picturing your story. You say you had to avoid a 4WD turning out from a side street. That means he was in front of you and for him to be behind you when you got pinged you would have had to have overtaken him, right? But if you have overtaken him, for him to be faster than you he must have out accelerated you after you passed him. If I was a Magistrate (and I'm not :) ), I would have trouble believing this, unless you ride a pushbike.

    Would it be possible that the cop got your speed before you were anywhere near where the 4WD pulled out in front of you and simply only caught up with you near the 4WD? He might have pinged you from behind some tree and took 2 km to catch you?

    This would explain why the cop didn't know what 4WD you're talking about. My advice would be to get this straight before you roll the dice in court...
  12. Not necessarily, I'm guessing that ades could've swerved around the front of the 4WD before the 4WD completed its turn. And as ades continues on, the 4WD caught up to him hence travelling faster. As to advice, I have none.

  13. I'm with the flingsta :)

    That's how I interpreted it.

    At the end of the day, what you need to realise is, the cop stated "what 4WD" and was happy to lie to you. If you feel that he will tell the truth in court, then fight it, if not, Puma do a great cross trainer in all black for $80 :grin:
  14. For measuring equipment to be considered serviceable, it has to be calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements to the manufacturer's tolerances.

    When it comes to electronic measuring equipment, two types of certification should be issued:

    - a small sticker on the equipment itself indicating when certification will expire, and who the technician was; and

    - certification on company letterhead stating all relevant testing information, including test dates, length of certification, accuracy of the equipment and the signature of a company representative authorised and suitably qualified to conduct calibration and/or repairs.

    I haven't been in too much of a rush to get my licence changed over (no points to worry about), and we recieved our first speeding (???) fine in the mail the other day - 76 in a 70 zone. I'm thinking about contesting it, but I'll wait and see. I'm not in too much of a rush to pay it anyway.
  15. I have challenged EVERY single fine.
    Ive only ever had to pay one....

    When u dispute, they'll usually send a letter back saying they dont agree etc etc. They will NOT go to court for a couple of hundred dollars!
    Always keep that in mind.

    That will do everything in their power to intimidate you and thats why they get away with it because most people get too scared. :evil:

    Just try and see how you go. I almost guarantee you wont have to pay!

    Good Luck mate :)
    Keep us updated
  16. Take it like man

    After loosing my licence 3 times for speeding or points over last 15 years,1 year loss,and 2 6 monthers,always on bikes,last time being bout year ago,and challenging last one being 145 in a 100 in the middle of goddam nowhere after riding down back side of Mt Hotham Omeo way(I blame you for that one Jason! :evil: )-that way completely absolving myself of any responsibilty, anyways Im babb :blah: lin
    Last time cost me 770 bananas in solicitors fees,and she was next to bloody useless :furious: ,very hungover and Im pretty sure stoned,I kid you not,obviously I cant name the law firm or the bar*tads will sue me for slander,I got still got 6 months.

    Basically,take it like a man :blackeye: and cop the 1 month,I could do that standing on my head.
  17. For what it's worth......

    (i) Ask for the calibration cert as recommended earlier. In melb RMIT do the job for Vicpol, but there have been cases of guns NOT being calibrated. Any tickets issued from these guns are invalid technically.

    (ii) Write a polite letter to the PERIN Office or Vicpol as the acse may be and suggest that you (might) challenge. As also stated earlier, the coppers hate a failure and will often pull a ticket. Worth a try.

    (iii) The Law Institute of Vic has a referral service, and most first visits are free.