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QLD Fined for Overtaking stationary traffic

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by mendosi, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone.

    I'm looking for some advice/help here. I've searched through the archives and I can't seem to find any situation similar to this nor can I find anything from the Qld district court records, but I'm not very experienced at searching those, yet.

    So I was approaching an intersection where there was a queue of traffic. The road at this point is only one lane each direction and the lanes are separated by a broken white line.

    I wanted to turn right, so when there was a break in the traffic I indicated and proceeded past all the stationary cars down to the right turn lane where I waited for the light to change. Not long after a police officer pulled up beside me and told me (and the driver in front who had done the same thing) to pull over once we were around the corner.

    https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=-27.481598,152.993977&num=1&t=k&z=20 is the location, FYI.

    Basically, the officer gave me a fine for driving on the wrong side of the road. s132 of the Qld road rules. I told him that I was overtaking, and it was okay to do so because I indicated, checked that it was clear and there was a broken white line.

    After much discussion, his final position was that I can't have been overtaking, because the vehicles were stationary, and the definition of 'overtake' in the Qld road rules is:

    and according to his interpretation, since the vehicles were stationary, they were not 'travelling' and therefore I wasn't overtaking. Since I wasn't overtaking, I had no good reason to be on the right-hand side of the dividing line. $198.

    Discussion on this site before has mainly been around overtaking on the left, or overtaking in the same lane, or speeding, or anything else except overtaking stationary traffic on right of the dividing line.

    It is probably relevant to note that, the favourite section of motorcyclists, s141(c) states that
    it is okay to overtake stationary vehicles on the left - thus using the word 'overtake' to refer to passing traffic which (must be) stationary. I'm thinking this is pretty solid ground to refute the infringement.
    If s141 states that overtaking stationary vehicles is a thing that can happen, then who is this police officer to state that if the vehicle is stationary then you can't, by definition, overtake it?

    Anyone from Qld, I would like your advice: is it best to contact the officer in charge of the station from where the fine was issued and take it up with them (will they even listen) or is it necessary for a magistrate to decide?

  2. I think you've got a solid argument. Part B allows you to be there, and the cop's personal interpretation of part A is inconsistent with 141(c).

    Trouble is, you'll need to strike a beak that doesn't agree with the cop about the 'intent' of the rule.

    Edit: But you did break another law by crossing a solid line to get back.
  3. Fight that one for sure - complete garbage from the police officer. Absolute garbage.
  4. In your googly maps location I can't see a turn right lane, or any traffic lights? :-s
  5. Is there a danger that if I ask the officer in charge to review the incident that they will examine the footage (of the cop's GoPro) in minute detail in order to find some other minor infraction to hit me with instead?
  6. That is where I started to overtake. Proceed West to the intersection.
    Sorry, I was unclear.
  7. This is just wrong. It all comes down to the definition of travelling which I'm sure would include stationary vehicles. Try to find the word travelling used in other legislation that would include stationary vehicles.

    Rule 65 (disabled parking) actually has the words "vehicle in which an individual is travelling is parked".

    So if travelling requires a vehicle to be moving disability parking requires cars to be moving when they are parked.
  8. Ah I see now. So to get to the right turn lane, you'd have crossed back into it from the 'wrong' side of the road. The overtake starts legally on broken whites, but then you'd have slipped into the turn right lane from the 'wrong side'. It's going to be a grey area if you dispute it. The start of the overtake is fine, but it's how you got into the turn right lane that will make it iffy. They may even talk about the distance from the intersection at which you were still on the 'wrong' side, etc.

    Pedantic I know... but some trivial laws are to appease people in beige pullovers after all. ;)

    Good luck with the fight. Give em a kick in the balls for us. :beer:
  9. Looking at the map I'm guessing you had to cross a solid white line to get into the right turn lane, in which case you are technically in the wrong. But seems like a fine example of ignoring the intent of a law, and just trying to book people for the sake of booking people.
  10. I am thinking that the issue here may be that you were potentially overtaking cars that may also have been turning right when they were able?

    If you reached the head of the queue and the car at the head was also turning right that car could have potentilly turned on top of you?

    Is that the risk associated with this action?
  11. I think you'll struggle to beat this one. The rule you really broke, was "Don't p1ss off the cagers by pushing in or jumping the queue." You won't find that one written up in the transport act, but it's what a lot of tickets are actually written for. Good luck if you decide to fight it, but I don't think you'll win. You would need a pretty sympathetic magistrate. They do exist, but they're in the minority, especially around motorcycles.

    Let us know how you get on.
  12. That really has been poorly worded ay.
    Wonder if anyone has contested that?
  13. Well, there is a dedicated right-turn lane which was quite long, and empty. Anyone else who intended to turn right wasn't going to get there without either waiting or doing the same overtaking manoeuvre.

    Also, this wasn't just a case of motorcycles doing motorcycle things, I followed a car on the overtake.

    Anyway, I'll contact the OIC today.
  14. Overtaking only includes moving traffic? Absolute crap.
  15. Got a letter today from the officer in charge at that station re-issuing the infringement, this time with the correct location listed (previously the location was incorrect).

    No acknowledgement of my letter, so I don't know whether this is their best offer or this letter is unrelated to mine.

    Going to attempt to clarify.
  16. There is usually only one way to improve your situation and it's not done by contacting the OIC.

  17. Thanks for the advice. I like the idea of trying to resolve things at the lowest level possible, but if in your experience it won't get me anywhere, then maybe it's time to escalate.
  18. I think I see the problem now. There is no way you can legally get into the turning lane without waiting in the traffic queue. Crossing back from the RH side over a solid line would be an offence. But not the one you've been charged with.
    How lucky do ya feel?
  19. Well, you may be right, but I took great pains to clarify with the officer exactly what I did wrong, and it wasn't that.
    If they change their story now...

    Besides, I believe that I passed back onto the LHS of the road precisely at the beginning of the right-turn lane which is where the unbroken line begins.
  20. Contacting them has to date only provided the opportunity to fix errors. It's the reason lawyers don't advise you to contact police. It's usually always does not improve your position. If you know where to look, it does not take long to confirm the same.

    The OIC is not going to withdraw your fine and its likely he/she will also not waste their time directly responding to your letter when there is no reason compelling the person to.