misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

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kakimoto33
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:48 am

misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby kakimoto33 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:51 am

Good morning,

I am looking for a little advice on a ticket I received the other day which has me a little frustrated.

This happened on a freeway offramp where it had previously reduced to an 80km/h zone then further on down to a 60km/h zone, however this appears to have been changed now to drop immediately from the freeway speed down to a 50km/h zone. Now there is a warning sign the clearly says "70km/h ahead" which appears to be a 'roadworks ahead' style sign so I was looking out for roadworks or similar when I was presented with a 50km/h sign out of the dark of the night and police lights at the exact same moment at which time I had already slowed from the freeway speed to a speed suitable for the 80km/h zone which I was expecting and prepared to slow to 70km/h or less for roadworks or anything else that might be ahead.

It's hard to realise exactly what I was seeing and thinking at the time however I was slowing down as anyone else would in the same position taking heed of the 70km/h ahead sign. Of course if I knew there was a 50km/h zone ahead or if I had been able to see the 50km/h sign in advance then I would have slowed down further before reaching it. At the end of the day I received an infringement for doing 30km/h over the limit which means loss of licence for something that was genuinely misleading and I believe could have caught out any number of people in my position who had not driven on that offramp since the speed zone change and/or had faith in the 70km/h ahead sign which actually led into a 50km/h zone instead.

I plan to travel the 90 minutes each way to view the scene again during the day and possibly again at night to check signage, visability, etc and see exactly what caused this situation but I would really appreciate some advice on what I should be looking for and how to document the scene to my best advantage if I choose to defend this in court.

Thank you.

Hardy
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Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby Hardy » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:03 pm

Hardly worth the drive. What the signs say today is irrelevant. You need to give evidence of what the signs were at the time of the offence, and you already have that info in your post. The police might have photos of all the signs, which you will find out if you end up at court.

kakimoto33
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:48 am

Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby kakimoto33 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Thank you for the fast reply.

Could you tell me if my research is correct as far as laser speed detectors needing at least 3 seconds to get a reading. I ask because the point at which the laser was noted on the infringement was only about 50 past the speed zone sign and I believe that it gives an average over that 3 seconds which means it should not be admissible as evidence of speed in the 50 zone with half of the average reading being obtained in a 100 zone. If I am correct them this could be the easiest way to dispute the claim.

Thanks again.

Hardy
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Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby Hardy » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:33 pm

They can show a reading in less than a tenth of a second. If the reading is taken over 3 seconds and there is no sign of interference or other anomaly then the reading is much more likely to be accurate. The longer the reading the more accurate the measurement is.

kakimoto33
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:48 am

Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby kakimoto33 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:48 pm

In my case it would be better for me if the reading was taken over a longer period. How can we find out the speed sample period and other information relating to their claim, or is this the sort of information that will only be provided once I opt to have it heard in court?

Just one additional thought after having a look over the road again today ... there are new style bright LED speed zone signs showing 50km/h about another 200m up from the first 50km/h signs which are traditional static style non-illuminated signs. On the lead up to these first signs there are massive really bright LED billboards and directly above the speed sign is a lit up gantry with navigation information for the upcoming intersection (I should mention that this is the Tullamarine Airport offramp for those who are familiar with it and the bright advertising signs there) so when coming off the freeway it's very easy to not actually see the first set of unlit signs due to the exceptionally bright lights on everything else around them however you can fairly easily see the speed zone signs in the distance and although not being able to see the speed limit due to the distance it's still very reasonable to assume, as I had done, that this will be the point at which you should be doing a lower speed thus my starting to slow from 100km/h already only to be surprised to see the first set of unlit signs once I was basically on top of them and no longer getting glare and distraction from everything else around them ... is there a possibility to have the case dropped due on these grounds or would I be just wasting my efforts?

Hardy
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Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby Hardy » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:51 pm

I win speeding cases using very different techniques. I won a speeding case yesterday and didn't spend a second dealing with any of the things that you are sweating over. But to answer your question, you will get the answers to your question when you ask the informant those questions in the witness box in court. You do not have a right to cross examine the informant prior to the hearing of the charges. Your failure to notice signs which are clearly visible during normal daylight conditions is not a defence.
You should be taking this to court and sorting it out there. It is very unlikely that the 100kmh zone dropped straight down to 50kmh. I believe there are practice guidelines that say this should not occur.

freddie
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Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby freddie » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:17 pm

Hardy wrote:It is very unlikely that the 100kmh zone dropped straight down to 50kmh. I believe there are practice guidelines that say this should not occur.


I'm almost certain I've seen 40 zones for roadworks on freeways that went 100 straight to 40 and then straight back to 100 after they finished. In fairness there would have been at least a couple of "roadworks ahead" and "40 ahead' signs before the actual 40 kicked in.

Hardy
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Re: misleading, altered or confusing speed zones

Postby Hardy » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:27 am

In work zones pretty much anything is possible. But not because it is supposed to be like that. The problem is that most road maintenance crews are incapable of reading directions or the people who write the directions are incompetent.


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