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Change to Local Court

Discussion in 'Sydney | Uber Drivers Forum' started by Edward Rolfe, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Edward Rolfe

    Edward Rolfe New Member

    Hi.

    Has anyone here had any experience/success in getting a speeding fine hearing moved to a local court?

    I am contesting (not guilty) a speeding fine I incurred on my way to Thredbo in February. The traffic cop (waiting at the bottom of a steep decline) is from Goulburn police station, and the hearing has been set for Goulburn court.

    I live in Elanora Heights (2101), and would rather the hearing be held at a local court.

    The grounds on which I am pleading not guilty are based on the fact that I was issued a company car and was informed that it was a 2017 model (one year 'younger' than my own vehicle). Latest model Mazdas have Electronic Throttle Control(ETC) that automatically brakes/accelerates to maintain the speed set in the cruise control.

    It turned out that the company car I was issued is a 2012 model, and does not have ETC. As such, my speed was not maintained as I descended the steep hill, and the cop pinged me for >10km over the 110km speed limit.

    I explained to the officer that cruise control had not automatically applied the brakes, to maintain the set 100km/hr, but he was not interested.

    I have since resigned from the job/employer, and have lost all correspondence from Mazda on this matter, and my new work does not accommodate a day-trip to Goulburn.

    Providing full details, in case any of you have had a similar experience.

    Cheers!

    Ed.
     
  2. Uberx zoom

    Uberx zoom Well known member (founder)

    Hi Ed,

    I am sorry to hear about your experience. In Victoria a hearing may be moved to a court of your choice only if taking a guilty plea, it may well be the case in NSW, please call the court to check.

    I am not a lawyer but it seems to me your line of defence is not going to convince the Judge. Ultimately it is the driver responsibility to maintain a legal speed regardless of what gadgets he/she may have installed in the car. In my opinion you are likely to be found guilty in your case.

    If you have no issue with demerit points then you are much better off taking a guilty plea and asking for the fine to be canceled due to hardship or previous good driving record. The Judge is likely to consider your cruise control story (and cancel the monetary fine) in such case, once you admit guilt and apologised.

    Courts are required to "sweeten" judgments when a guilty plea is taken. Unfortunately the demerit points still apply. The court (in Victoria) have no power to reverse the points in case of a guilty plea/judgment.

    Once again, i am not a lawyer (and suggest that you speak to one) but i have experience helping other drivers with similar cases.

    Please keep us updated.

    Good Luck!
    Max B.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. Edward Rolfe

    Edward Rolfe New Member

    Hi, everyone.

    Just wanted to update this post, and let you know the outcome of my hearing.

    I managed to get it moved to my local court, on the grounds that I would be pleading guilty. (Meaning the issuing officer did not need travel/attend).

    Once at court, I re-affirmed that I was pleading guilty as:
    A) I was not denying that my vehicle's speed exceeded the legal limit, as I was not challenging the accuracy of the LIDAR equipment, or the officer's experience in operating it (Two elements that are known to the judges as being heavily questionable...)
    B) My speed crept up rapidly and the officer, set up at the bottom of a steep hill (something they are not allowed to do!) registered my speed on LIDAR before my braking had brought my speed back to the legal limit (literally in the space of a couple of seconds.)
    C) I was respectfully requesting the judge apply leniency on the above mitigating/extenuationing circumstances....

    By introducing the above factors, that are known issues to the local courts, I was effectively mitigating a not-guilty plea - under the banner of a guilty plea - leveraging known issues applicable to LIDAR-based infringements.

    The judge let me off the demirit points and the fine, citing my clean driving record, and put m eon a six-month good behaviour bond. :)

    The other thing that I learnt about LIDAR is that the police cannot operate it in the rain, and it has a wide range of refraction that necessitates a constantly steady hand/arm of the law...

    Hope this helps someone...

    Ed.
     
    Uberx zoom likes this.
  4. Uberx zoom

    Uberx zoom Well known member (founder)

    Congratulations Ed, it's a great outcome. Unfortunately here in Victoria the magistrate has no power to reverse demerit points once a guilty please is taken, monetary fine only.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019

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