Re Court Traffic Fine: I'm presently paying back $500 for a $130 (?) speeding fine at Maryborough about 2 years ago. I

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Customer: Re Court Traffic Fine: I'm presently paying back $500 for a $130 (?) speeding fine at Maryborough about 2 years ago. I didn't want to pay the fine & wanted it to go to Court as they were covering up what was happening up there...no signs with road works - I got lost! - & ripping off the public with no 'speed signs' & no 'speed camera in use' signs on Alice St. from the Highway. However, somehow, with health issues in the household I got the wrong date & turned up the day after the hearing at M'ough Court House. When I finally got the hearing to happen again, the Sargeant interrupted me & then the Magistrate directed, because of what he said, that I pay the full $500 fine & closed the case. The Sargeant was covering up what had been a Police 'fleecing the public' situation in Alice St. similar to what had been happening in the Noosa area prior to our MP making media noises re this issue. What possibilities do I have of having this situation remedied? Yes, I could have paid the fine up front, but the MainRoads/Transport Dept. were not interested or even apologised for the lack of signage where I came off the H'way onto a roundabout & bridge over the h'way, to show which way to head for Hervey Bay from the north-western aspect of M'ough. There were no signs showing the way, I thought I was in a rural area well north of M'ough, & as the road off the bridge went through a short forest, all downhill, & then I had the sun in my face...unable to see for a few minutes...before I slowed down & realised I was in a built up area...too late! There is an injustice here & I was not allowed to give a full understanding of what was happening at the time of the offence - on my part! And unable to give the details of what I realised had happened/was happening up there; i.e. no signs anywhere!
JA: Is this a first-time offense?
Customer: No, I think I offended once before...can't recall, but maybe before I married Noel (nee Backhouse) some 30 years ago when I was running late to work early one weekend morning...driving from Logan City to the Gap as I had to pickup tourists for a 'Bushranger' Tour in Brisbane Forest Park during Expo 88.
JA: Where did the speeding occur? Criminal law varies by state.
Customer: Brisbane, Qld.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The Magistrate left my offence till last, so I had spent a whole morning waiting for them to address my offence/rehearing & at that time I was the only one left in the Court. I assumed from this that they didn't wish anyone else to hear what I had to say about the Police or MainRds/ Transport Dept's lack of signage & 'fleecing of the public'.
Answered by John Melis in 2 days 2 years ago
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John, solicitor, and reviewing your post, and may need to ask a few questions a long the way to assist you.

Are you expecting to lose your license?

Customer
No. Please see email I just typed in reply to your email. Thanks! L
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John Melis, Expert

Based on your comments you may have a valid argument to raise.

There are various defences that you can raised to assist in minimising the penalty that will apply.

Some of these defence include sudden emergency, provocation by another driver, road conditions, psychological stresses, mental health and so on.

One of the main supporting factors in running your defence is to obtain affidavits in support of your position as a good driver from people who know that you have a licence. These affidavits are character references to your person. The affidavit should detail that the person who signs it, knows of the penalty that has been raised against you, and that you still hold a good character and the matter in question is an incident that occurred due to unusual circumstances. You should obtain a minimum of three supporting references.

In addition usually when a traffic event happens, there is always a reason for it to occur, and especially when you are on the defensive side you can reduce the penalty level or have it withdrawn completely by providing supporting reports on the road incident through a traffic engineer, who will assess the circumstance and condition of the road relative to the time of the incident. This report will become a key element in your defence.

If you are unable to engage a traffic engineer, obtaining photos of the incident area and then drafting a relevant brief around the incident will help demonstrate what happened as why you took such action.

However, keep in mind, that where you contest a speeding fine in court , and you are not successful in defending the same, the court may increase the fine and/or apply court costs as well for wasting the courts time.

When you decide to contest the fine the key element is to be able to identify whether there is a legitimate reason on the facts if the offence.

Where there are genuine grievance in regard to the fine, then it is worth contesting.

Keep in mind the court will consider some or all of the following points as well.

(a) Offence complete and established in accordance with the standard points of proof;

(b) Admission of offence;

(c) Good driving record as defined;

(d) Poor driving record as defined;

(e) Type of road - dual / divided;

(f) Location (residential / industrial / school / intersection);

(g) Time of day;

(h) Traffic density at time of detection;

(i) Speed zone (e.g. 40 km/h school zone);

(j) Weather conditions;

(k) Safety related offence as defined; and

(l) Previous convictions in the past ten (10) years

Where you choose to contest the fine, this can result in a lengthy and costly process. However, it can be done, but keep in mind where the camera is found not be faulty you may be required to pay associated costs with the producing the camera including court costs.

Keep in mind that the offences are a ‘direct liability offence’. This means that even if you are 1 KM of the speed limit, you are guilty of the offence, unless you can prove otherwise. The reason for this is based on public policy, which is for the protection of all people that use the roads.

Many traffic incidents are defended well by the driver in question and it is just a matter of putting together all the supporting evidence and then preparing your case.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this situation.

Does this help with your question today?

Customer
John, Thanks for reply.The Court Case was at Maryborough early in 2019, after I had asked for another chance to put forward my thoughts re
the way the M'ough Police were conducting/collecting their 'speed fines'. As I pointed out, they allowed the Court to
clear before addressing my issue...interestingly! But then they cut me short so I wasn't able to even have my complaint
recorded.There are replies from the Main Roads/Transport Dept. re the signs, but not really any recognition of why or what the
reasoning was behind 'no signage'... for folk like us who don't have the latest 'smarty phones' & able to google their
positioning.Is it possible to have financial support to re-address this issue?Sure, I was driving over the speed limit, but...there were reasons & the lack of signage of where I actually was in regard
to driving to Hervey Bay, & the lack of signage to say I was in a built up area with the speed limit being '60' + a sign
saying 'a speed camera' was in use.The reasons....I was driving to take my Mother from the N.Home in Urangan, Hervey Bay, to lunch & I had ordered a
taxi for 11.30am at the N.Home; intending to go with her in the taxi. After attending an SES traffic control day &
evening course the day before, I stayed in the motel overnight & the next morning I was unaware of the hugh road
work changes due to 'lack of signage' north of Tiaro and the eventual slowness of the trip due to the work to change
the entry to SW Maryborough from the Bruce Highway. Thus, I ended up going well north of the normal entry to
M'ough that I was aware of from past trips that way. Usually I went via the TinCanBay/Maryborough Coastal Road
as we live at Boreen Pt. & can take the back roads to the Gympie/TinCanBay Rd....only*****Therefore, I was lost north of the SW entry to M'ough & as there was 'no signage' saying where the next exit was
going to be & 'no signage' as to where I was when I got to an exit, it was perplexing, to say the least, when I finally
found that I was actually just west of the main M'ough town centre, in Alice St.....Again, I did not know the name of
the Street until I received the 'speed fine'. Because I had been driving for so long on an unknown road, I 'assumed'
wrongly, that I was well north of M'ough in a rural setting. The 'lack of signage' caused a lot of unsettling thoughts
as I needed to be in Urangan, Hervey Bay by 11.30am...so as not to upset my Mother (92 at the time)...to take Mum
to lunch at the RSL as arranged.Re missing the actual date: I had a lot on my plate at the time due to my husband's health issues - I'm his carer! -
& Family issues re some members wanting to sell Mum's property, without her permission, before she died: causing
Family rifts & creating more pressure on me to abide by their wishes. As I suffer with 'anxiety' at times, my life
wasn't easy at the time of the 'speed fine'; however, I wasn't going to just pay it without bringing up the 'lack of
signage' issues & the 'lack of response' re these plus Police similar issues re speed signs & use of a speed camera.The original fine was under/or around $100, but the Court fined me $500: ridiculous, to say the least!What chance do I have of bringing this issue to the Court's again?
I'm not worried of them taking my licence as there's no grounds for doing that, as far as I can see.Kind Regards, Lorraine
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John Melis, Expert

You are welcome, and thank you for supporting the community.

Customer
In regard to the issues pertaining to the lack of signage by both Police & Main Roads/Transport Dept., there is no way I can bring this matter to their attention anymore?I have written & spoken to the MR&T Dept., but the answer was only questioning if there weren't actually any signs at the time of the offence & that they would look into this.At no time did I get an apology from them for causing my misgivings at the time. Also, I haven't notified the Police but did contact the MP's Office in Hervey Bay re the situation.So far, I've not had time or occasion to check if they have
put up any signage for Alice St. entry from the Highway or if they are putting up signage to say 'speed camera in use'.
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John Melis, Expert

lets talk on the phone

Customer
Dear ***** Melis/ Solicitor,In regard to the issues pertaining to the lack of signage by both Police & Main Roads/Transport Dept., there is no way I can bring this matter to their attention anymore?I have written & spoken to the MR&T Dept., but the answer was only questioning if there weren't actually any signs at the time of the offence & that they would look into this.At no time did I get an apology from them for causing my misgivings at the time. Also, I haven't notified the Police but did contact the MP's Office in Hervey Bay re the situation.So far, I've not had time or occasion to check if they have
put up any signage for Alice St. entry from the Highway or if they are putting up signage to say 'speed camera in use'.
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John Melis, Expert

If you prefer to talk on the telephone, I have sent you a special offer to assist you in more detail, as it will make it easier to discuss your matter. I kindly request that you complete the details on the offer, and we can talk straight away as you need. Otherwise, we can keep chatting in this box.

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