What to do

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Brett854
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What to do

Postby Brett854 » Thu May 29, 2014 1:02 pm

Hi All,

I recently was given an on the spot fine in Pakenham in a new estate where the streets don't have any speed signs yet. I was done doing 70 in a 50 zone, problem is the same street is a 70 zone in the old part which joins the new part but only after 2 roundabouts. I questioned the cop about the limit and he told me that with no speed sings its automatically a 50 zone. I appealed and was told that its the police job to police the limit, and i should get in touch with the local council to ask them about limits. i did and they told me its Vic Roads issue and that they had been waiting for almost 12 months for that section of road to be signed.

I read up a bit on fighting speeding fines and most of the info i read seemed to pint to only fighting if your license is at risk, mines not. It can cost a lot more that the fine itself to defend and never a guarantee of winning so i decided to just pay it and get on with life. Now 2 weeks after it was paid they put up speed signs and its a 70 speed limit. I called the Civic Compliance Office and they said that because i had already had a review denied i cannot request another, so my only option is to take it to court.

I have absolutely zero experience with this process and don't know what i should do. Will it cost me money to have it heard in front of a magistrate, do i represent myself, how much does a lawyer cost, should i even bother considering i have already paid the fine, what are my chances of any recovery and will it cost me more to get it back than the original fine ??? Arggghhhh Please help me people.

Thanks

Gravy
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Re: What to do

Postby Gravy » Thu May 29, 2014 3:17 pm

Brett854 wrote: with no speed sings its automatically a 50 zone
Absolutely correct, however...
Brett854 wrote: the same street is a 70 zone in the old part which joins the new part but only after 2 roundabouts
This needs clarifying. Care to supply road names?

Click here:http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/LTObject_Store/LTObjSt5.nsf/dde300b846eed9c7ca257616000a3571/a1ea37d8e6e0e200ca257761003fffbf/$FILE/09-94sr003.pdf and scroll to rule 21 (3), pay particular attention to (c). It sounds odd that police would be enforcing 50km/h if a 70km/h sign applies upstream. I think the new 70km/h sign is probably not relevant to whether or not you would have had a defence as speed limits do change.

Brett854
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Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Thu May 29, 2014 3:58 pm

Henry Road, Pakenham. The new part (not signed) is off Cardinia Rd and the old part (clearly a 70 zone)is off Mc Gregor Rd.

Thanks

Day
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Re: What to do

Postby Day » Thu May 29, 2014 4:07 pm

Brett854 wrote:Henry Road, Pakenham. The new part (not signed) is off Cardinia Rd and the old part (clearly a 70 zone)is off Mc Gregor Rd.

Thanks


Is the old part still signed as 70? What is so different about the stretches of road? Does one have more houses on it?

Brett854
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Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Thu May 29, 2014 4:15 pm

Yes, the old part is still signed 70. The old part is a single carriage way with a school, shopping center and a park all close by, but no houses directly off the street. The new part is a duel carriage way but no school, no park and no shopping center. There is a community center on the roundabout, but most of the road, including the stretch i was booked in has empty paddocks on either side.

Gravy
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Re: What to do

Postby Gravy » Thu May 29, 2014 4:55 pm

Right or wrong, it definitely seems like a dopey infringement.

Hardy will probably pick me up if I'm wrong (he usually does), but I think the problem may be while Henry Rd is called Henry Road between Cardinia and McGregor Roads, there are a few turns in there where the posted 70km/h speed limit wont follow. For example, if you drive along Henry from the east (i.e. McGregor), to continue on Henry you must change your direction 90 degrees to the north - this is where I don't think the 70km/h limit will follow; however 70km/h may well apply in Bronzewing St. The question then becomes, if the 70km/h doesn't apply on Henry Road between Henry Road and Henry Road (Huh???? let's just say between Discovery and Bronzewing Streets), then what is the speed limit?

50km/h default speed limit applies in built up areas, which is hard to argue when you have paddocks either side of you. Default rural is 100km/h... Built up area is defined in the Road Rules dictionary - I'm not familiar with the area (and google maps is outdated), so you'll have to tell me if it fits that definition or not.

I reckon your biggest problem at the moment is that you've paid the infringement, not what the actual speed limit is.

As an aside, if there were a 70km/h speed limit sign between Discovery and Bronzewing Streets, the limit in Discovery could well be 70km/h if there is no sign to the contrary, as a roundabout does not (as I understand it) constitute an end to a road and therefore an end to a speed limit.

Day
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Re: What to do

Postby Day » Thu May 29, 2014 6:52 pm

Pay particular attention to the spacing of street lights or dwellings.

Hardy
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Re: What to do

Postby Hardy » Thu May 29, 2014 10:56 pm

It's not possible to take it to court if you have paid the fine. You'll have to beg the traffic camera office to cancel the payment and let you elect to take it to court. Can't see why why they would let you do that.
You probably would have won regardless whether or not they put up new signs.
The new signs really don't have anything to do with it.
You probably wouldn't have wanted to pay for a lawyer to fight your case when your licence is not at risk, so now that 70 signs have been put up I suspect you still don't want to pay for a lawyer to fight your case when your licence is not at risk.

Brett854
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Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:00 am

I don't want to pay anyone but i want my money back. This just seems unfair to me, i said to my wife if i have been doing 80 fair enough i know i am doing the wrong thing and i cop it, but i thought it was a 70 zone and therefore i believed i was doing the right thing. Now it is officially a 70 zone i feel like i should just get a refund and an apology but i know thats not going to happen.

My wife wants me to go to the ombudsman but as far as i can tell there is no ombudsman for this kind of thing, guess these guys are a law unto them selves with no big brother to watch over them.

NOT HAPPY :(

Hardy
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Re: What to do

Postby Hardy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:25 am

You pay the fine if you decide you dont want to fight it. Once paid it is really hard to change your mind and cancel payment. If you are undecided, dont pay it. The infrongement notice is just as much an invitation to go to court or an invitation to seek internal review as it is an invitation to pay the penalty. You cant blame the police for your decision to pay the penalty.

The only option you have is to ask tge police to cancel the payment so you can seek internal review. There are many instances of police reversing payments and cancelling infringement notices when they discover the fines should not have been issued.

Gravy
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Re: What to do

Postby Gravy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:37 am

Then you shouldn't have paid the infringement notice in the first place. You get a choice to either admit guilt by paying the the infringement, or appeal to a magistrate and plead your case. You don't get a do-over.

Like I said earlier, speed limits change. It happens all the time. That it is NOW 70km/h should never have formed a defence to your infringement because it wouldn't help you - you need to show that it was ALWAYS 70km/h (I reckon it could be argued that it was actually 100km/h default rural unsigned. Maybe.).

I'm not surprised you're not happy - it was a dopey infringement in the first place - but you had a chance to appeal and didn't take it. That is not the justice system's fault, it's yours.

Brett854 wrote:... as far as i can tell there is no ombudsman for this kind of thing, guess these guys are a law unto them selves with no big brother to watch over them.
I'm not trying to have a go at you, I just think that this comment is pretty unfair.

Brett854
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Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:55 am

I'm not blaming them for my decision to pay, I did ask for an internal review and was pretty much told "not our problem". I paid because the research i did lead me to believe it would cost more to fight than to pay the fine, and since i have my full compliment of points and i was not going to lose my license it seemed like to common sense conclusion. Had it not been for the rest of the street being a 70 zone, and 70 signs erected 2 weeks after i paid this would not be an issue, but to me its not out of the question to expect that 70 would have been a correct speed to travel. I think its unfair that there is no recourse after the initial review, which was not really reviewed, i was basically told we only look at speeding offenses, if you have a problem with the speed zone take it up with someone else. I wasn't complaining about the speed zone as i believed it was and should have been 70, therefore i wasn't speeding and thought they would come to that conclusion and cancel the fine.

Surely you can see my point !

Hardy
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Re: What to do

Postby Hardy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:14 pm

What you or i think the speed limit should be, or what you believed it was, is irrelevant. All that matters is what it was on the date of the incident.

Gravy
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Re: What to do

Postby Gravy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Brett854 wrote: I paid because the research i did lead me to believe it would cost more to fight than to pay the fine, and since i have my full compliment of points and i was not going to lose my license it seemed like to common sense conclusion.
That's a fair enough conclusion to draw.

Brett854 wrote:to me its not out of the question to expect that 70 would have been a correct speed to travel.
I agree completely.

I'm with you on the infringement being at best inappropriate, perhaps even patently wrong. Where we diverge in view is here:
Brett854 wrote:I think its unfair that there is no recourse after the initial review
There is recourse post review: appeal. It is incorrect to write that there is no recourse because you chose to not appeal. An internal review is not a prerequisite to appeal. In fact, the most common advice on this forum seems to be that an internal review is a waste of a stamp and potentially damaging to an appeal. You don't have to pay a lawyer to appeal, either. This is where I think your research was flawed or incomplete - the cost of appealing does not have to be more than the cost of the infringement. Geez, you could even engage a lawyer and apply for costs upon winning; should cost you nothing (in theory).

I can very clearly see and understand your point. I empathise with you in these circumstances. I just don't agree with all of your points.

Brett854
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Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:36 pm

Gravy wrote:There is recourse post review: appeal.

This is what i wanted to hear, Ive been told a few times its my fault cause i have already paid and now its tough, but this is the first time someone has said yes you can appeal. So how do i go about it. This is why i put the post up in the first place because i have no idea where to start, other than see a lawyer and i want to avoid that if possible. Who do i have to contact to appeal it, i cant find any info anywhere on appealing an offense after its been paid. I know now i should not have paid, but hindsight is great isn't it ?

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Re: What to do

Postby Hardy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:44 pm

If your review is rejected then you are back where you started from, and you can then elect to take the case to court or pay the fine.
You can not pay the fine then elect to take the case to court.
When Gravy says "appeal" he means elect to take the case to court.
Once payment is made, there is no hope of doing anything at all unless the police cancel the payment, or cancel the notice and issue a fresh infringement notice (on that point, you might ask for a new infringement notice if the original one is invalid or incorrect or irregular).

The only exception to payment bringing the process to an end is the option of lodging a nomination of driver after payment of a camera fine.

Brett854
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:56 am

Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:53 pm

OK so taking all this into account am i screwed ? If it was you in my shoes would you try to pursue it from here (forgetting the fact that you probably wouldn't have let it get this far) or just let it go ?

rustyone
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Re: What to do

Postby rustyone » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:45 am

you have paid the fine which is you admitting guilt. You can not take it back saying I changed my mind. It's done :!:

Brett854
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:56 am

Re: What to do

Postby Brett854 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:33 pm

rustyone wrote:you have paid the fine which is you admitting guilt.

I didn't admit guilt, i paid the fine because the research i did lead me to believe it would cost more to fight than to pay the fine, and since i have my full compliment of points and i was not going to lose my license it seemed like to common sense conclusion. Not an admission of guilt, a common sense decision !

rustyone wrote: You can not take it back saying I changed my mind

I don't want to take it back because i changed my mind, new information came to hand after it was paid. Information that had i known earlier i would not have paid the fine, but hey in hindsight its easy to make the correct decisions !

Hardy
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Re: What to do

Postby Hardy » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:53 pm

Paying an infringement is not an admission of guilt.
However, it does expiate the offence.
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/ ... 1/s33.html


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