unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Discussion about speeding laws and enforcement
dat
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unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:42 pm

Seeking advice should this matter to be taken to court:

Infringement details:
Offence date: Melb Cub eve (Monday 2017)
Offence time: 3:36pm
Offence location: At the intersection of Duke St and Ballarat Rd, Braybrook
Permitted Speed: 40km/h
Detected speed: 52km/h
Alleged speed: 50km/h

My wife wrote a letter applied for an official warning but got rejected despite her good driving record. She and I then conducted a investigation by ourselves by going back to this intersection and took quite a few photos. Below are our findings:
1.
There was no 40 End sign on Duke St (traveling away from the school crossing). On the other side of this Duke st traveling towards school crossing there is a 40km/h speed limit sign during school time but looking across(with straight line) from this sign to the "Road Safety Camera", it(the "Road Safety Camera") is about 1.5m outside the start of school zone speed limit, therefore the "Offence Location" was outside the School Zone Speed Limit.

2.
She was turning into Duke St from a side street(Phoenix St) there are no Speed Limit repeater signs nor 40 End sign from the school crossing to the intersection about 163m (measured from Google Map). Hence, this section of Duke st failed to comply with Vicroards Traffic Engineering Manual
Volume 3 - Additional Network Standards & Guidelines Speed Zoning Guidelines Edition 1, June 2017 (Refer to Page 41 onwards).
https://www.studocu.com/en-au/document/ ... 35676/view

3.
If Repeater and Confirmatory Speed Signs were not displayed, the default speed limit is 50km/h then in this case, my wife was not speeding at all.

She wrote another letter(posted by mail) point out these above discrepancies to object the decision of not withdrawing the fine, but never got a response back for nearly 3 years until July/Aug this year 2020 (during the Victoria Lockdown) Fines Victoria sent her a reminder with an additional "penalty reminder Notice fee" $25.80. She wrote letter again (submitted online via Internal review - so she can have the record of letters submitted) to appeal but they rejected and only removed the "penalty reminder Notice fee" $25.80. She then wrote another appeal letter(again submitted online) requesting them to explain the reasons why they rejected her appeal but now she received another "Penalty Reminder Notice fee" $25.80 + Collection fee $133.40 + Enforcement Warrant fee $58.40 without any explanations and a template Nomination Statement. The due date of $317 + $25.80 = $342.80 on 21/10/2020.

I am desperately seek advices on how to deal with this matter:
- Should my wife proceed with going to court ?
- Given this fine was nearly 3 years ago, will she lose 3 demerit points ?
- And what her chances are if she decides to go to court ?

Please help ! Thanks in advance.

Hardy
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Hardy » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:22 pm

Because an enforcement warrant has been issued she has no options available other than to pay the fine or flee Victoria. Unless the qualifies for special circumstances which seems very unlikely. See: http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/infringements.court.html

Gravy
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Gravy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:16 am

Given Shaun's advice above (that your wife has no recourse to object) a discussion of the merits of your arguments is moot, but I'll address them anyway for your own information.

1. If there was no 'END 40' sign, then the 40km/h zone didn't end. A speed limit sign on the other side of the road facing away from your direction of travel has no bearing on you. Also, cameras don't look at their 'feet' so it isn't enforcing the speed at a point on the road perpendicular to the camera. It's pointing down the road some 20-odd metres.

2. The TEM is not law and does not help when it comes to infringements. This topic has been discussed many times before in this forum. You need to look at Road Rule 21(3) - a speed limit for a length of road starts at the sign, whether or not you have driven passed and sighted that sign. It's certainly arguable how fair that is (I think it isn't), but that's just how it works. The TEM is for road designers and traffic engineers, not police and lawyers/motorists. Think of like best practice (TEM) versus minimum legal standard (Road Rules).

3. Incorrect, I'm afraid. The default speed limit applies to lengths of road to which no speed limit sign applies. A sign applied to the length of road to which you're referring, regardless of side streets as discussed above.

Hardy
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Hardy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:35 am

The laws about speed limit signage is really simple.
You have to travel at or under the speed applicable to the road as indicated by the previous sign until you pass a new sign or the road ends at a T intersection.

Manuals and guidelines and Management Acts etc can all go in the bin because they are irrelevant. If you think the ticket has got the speed limit wrong the solution is to take the case to court by completing the court election. At court the police will adduce evidence of the speed limit at the point where the car was photographed and you get to dispute it. You will never succeed in disputing it by seeking an internal review. The reason you got no response to your second review request is that the law prohibits you from making a second review request. The only way "to object the decision of not withdrawing the fine" is to send in the court election form prior to enforcement steps commencing.

Her good driving record can not help in a dispute about signage. It can only help in getting a warning for a 1 point infringement. This was a 3 point infringement, so her record was never going to help her at all.

dat
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:27 pm

Hardy wrote:Because an enforcement warrant has been issued she has no options available other than to pay the fine or flee Victoria. Unless the qualifies for special circumstances which seems very unlikely. See: http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/infringements.court.html


Thank you for replying. She is still in Penalty Reminder Notice stage.

dat
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:27 pm

Gravy wrote:Given Shaun's advice above (that your wife has no recourse to object) a discussion of the merits of your arguments is moot, but I'll address them anyway for your own information.

1. If there was no 'END 40' sign, then the 40km/h zone didn't end. A speed limit sign on the other side of the road facing away from your direction of travel has no bearing on you. Also, cameras don't look at their 'feet' so it isn't enforcing the speed at a point on the road perpendicular to the camera. It's pointing down the road some 20-odd metres.

2. The TEM is not law and does not help when it comes to infringements. This topic has been discussed many times before in this forum. You need to look at Road Rule 21(3) - a speed limit for a length of road starts at the sign, whether or not you have driven passed and sighted that sign. It's certainly arguable how fair that is (I think it isn't), but that's just how it works. The TEM is for road designers and traffic engineers, not police and lawyers/motorists. Think of like best practice (TEM) versus minimum legal standard (Road Rules).

3. Incorrect, I'm afraid. The default speed limit applies to lengths of road to which no speed limit sign applies. A sign applied to the length of road to which you're referring, regardless of side streets as discussed above.


Thank you for replying, Gravy. Just adding more information, this section of Duke St at other times is 60Km/h, whereas Ballarat Rd 70km/h all times. The spot that my wife's car got caught on the "Road Safety Camera" was in the intersection of Duke St and Ballarat Rd. The next 40 ahead sign about 252m(measure from Google Map) from the intersection if driving away from the school crossing, that is 163+252= 415m from school crossing without any repeat speed limits signs. She was turning into Duke St from a side street(Phoenix St 20m) to the school crossing, there are no Speed Limit repeater signs nor 40 End sign from the school crossing to the next 40 ahead sign which about 630m. Also, a speed limit for a length of road starts at the sign 60km/h is 586m towards the school crossing. The time variable speed (most of the time faulty/not working - I knew this because I normally driving home from work via this route) 266m towards the school crossing.
Any suggestions and comments would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

dat
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:41 pm

Hardy wrote:The laws about speed limit signage is really simple.
You have to travel at or under the speed applicable to the road as indicated by the previous sign until you pass a new sign or the road ends at a T intersection.

Manuals and guidelines and Management Acts etc can all go in the bin because they are irrelevant. If you think the ticket has got the speed limit wrong the solution is to take the case to court by completing the court election. At court the police will adduce evidence of the speed limit at the point where the car was photographed and you get to dispute it. You will never succeed in disputing it by seeking an internal review. The reason you got no response to your second review request is that the law prohibits you from making a second review request. The only way "to object the decision of not withdrawing the fine" is to send in the court election form prior to enforcement steps commencing.

Her good driving record can not help in a dispute about signage. It can only help in getting a warning for a 1 point infringement. This was a 3 point infringement, so her record was never going to help her at all.


Thank you for replying, Shaun. Just adding more information, this section of Duke St at other times is 60Km/h, whereas Ballarat Rd 70km/h all times. The spot that my wife's car got caught on the "Road Safety Camera" was in the intersection of Duke St and Ballarat Rd. The next 40 ahead sign about 252m(measure from Google Map) from the intersection if driving away from the school crossing, that is 163+252= 415m from school crossing without any repeat speed limits signs. She was turning into Duke St from a side street(Phoenix St 20m) to the school crossing, there are no Speed Limit repeater signs nor 40 End sign from the school crossing to the next 40 ahead sign which about 630m. Also, a speed limit for a length of road starts at the sign 60km/h is 586m towards the school crossing. The time variable speed (most of the time faulty/not working - I knew this because I normally driving home from work via this route) 266m towards the school crossing.

With regarding to your statement, Shaun: "Manuals and guidelines and Management Acts etc can all go in the bin because they are irrelevant." so why they still posted on Vicroads website and Swinburn and any suggestion Legal doctument which would help me to help my wife going to court.

Need your advice on this: - Given this fine was nearly 3 years ago, will she lose 3 demerit points if she decided to pay the fine or the demerit point will be waived.
- If she decides to go to court, any other costs involved if she lost ?

Any suggestions and advices would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Hardy
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Hardy » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:52 pm

+ Enforcement Warrant fee $58.40

Which means she is not at penalty reminder stage. So she can't go to court. The points have already been recorded - take a look at her demerit points record. Plus the offence is already 2 years, 11 months and 4 days old, so has she been on 11 or more points anytime in the past 6 years?
Best thing for her to do is go online and elect to take the case to court - if you find that is still possible. If she does that and they take her to court then she can't lose.

Gravy
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 am

Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Gravy » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:18 am

dat wrote: Shaun: "Manuals and guidelines and Management Acts etc can all go in the bin because they are irrelevant." so why they still posted on Vicroads website
So that design engineers can access them. It's there for people like me who plan, design, and build roads. Vicroads does not exist exclusively for road users (i.e. drivers). It is also the road management authority for it's own roads and retains much of the regulatory authority for council managed roads (especially speed limits). Just read the title - Traffic Engineering Manual - it's basically a textbook.

Also, children's crossings are not the trigger for school time 40km/h speed limits. The presence of the school is the trigger - if I remember correctly, it depends on there being a pedestrian gate to the school on that road. Then the position and length of the 40km/h zone is determined by the boundaries of the school. Again, it has nothing to do with the children's crossing. In any case, the speed limit for a road is set by the signs on the road regardless of what the TEM says. The distances are all irrelevant - all that matters is the speed limit on the length of road (according to road rules, not the TEM) and the speed at which your wife was driving.

dat
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:16 pm

Hardy wrote:
+ Enforcement Warrant fee $58.40

Which means she is not at penalty reminder stage. So she can't go to court. The points have already been recorded - take a look at her demerit points record. Plus the offence is already 2 years, 11 months and 4 days old, so has she been on 11 or more points anytime in the past 6 years?
Best thing for her to do is go online and elect to take the case to court - if you find that is still possible. If she does that and they take her to court then she can't lose.


Thanks for replying, Shaun. She is still in Penalty Reminder Notice stage.The due date of $317 + $25.80("Penalty Reminder Notice fee") = $342.80 on 21/10/2020.
No, she hasn't been on 11 or more points anytime in the past 6 years at all and still on 0 demerit point at the moment.

Could you elaborate this: "Best thing for her to do is go online and elect to take the case to court - if you find that is still possible. If she does that and they take her to court then she can't lose." please ?

Thanks muchly.

dat
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:26 pm

Gravy wrote:
dat wrote: Shaun: "Manuals and guidelines and Management Acts etc can all go in the bin because they are irrelevant." so why they still posted on Vicroads website
So that design engineers can access them. It's there for people like me who plan, design, and build roads. Vicroads does not exist exclusively for road users (i.e. drivers). It is also the road management authority for it's own roads and retains much of the regulatory authority for council managed roads (especially speed limits). Just read the title - Traffic Engineering Manual - it's basically a textbook.

Also, children's crossings are not the trigger for school time 40km/h speed limits. The presence of the school is the trigger - if I remember correctly, it depends on there being a pedestrian gate to the school on that road. Then the position and length of the 40km/h zone is determined by the boundaries of the school. Again, it has nothing to do with the children's crossing. In any case, the speed limit for a road is set by the signs on the road regardless of what the TEM says. The distances are all irrelevant - all that matters is the speed limit on the length of road (according to road rules, not the TEM) and the speed at which your wife was driving.


Thanks for replying, Gravy. The school boundaries are on Duke St and Ballarat Rd.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/157+D ... 44.8471469
Satellite view:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/157+D ... 44.8471469

On Duke St, there is a school gate and a school crossing next to each other.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/157+D ... 44.8471469

According to TEM, The length of the 40 km/h zone is typically measured from the crossing or the school gate if there is no marked crossing.
Sorry I can't find this in Road Rules Road Rule 21(3)https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/17-41sra008%20authorised.pdf

Looking forward to receive your reply. Thanks.

Hardy
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Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby Hardy » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:33 pm

"Best thing for her to do is go online and elect to take the case to court - if you find that is still possible. If she does that and they take her to court then she can't lose."

Which part of that was unclear?
"Go online" means go to https://online.fines.vic.gov.au/Your-Fi ... ines-Login
"Elect to take the case to court" means lodge a court election online. You will find that option once you get the infringement details up.
"If it is still possible" means if that option is available. If it is not available then it means the infringement has reached Final Demand stage and her best option then is to pay up.
"If they take her to court" means if the police withdraw the fine and serve on her a charge and summons.
"she can't lose" means the police won't be able to prove she has committed any offence. So if she gets a summons for this offence come and see me if you want to win.

dat
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:57 pm

Re: unfair speeding fine just outside school zone

Postby dat » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:49 pm

Hardy wrote:
"Best thing for her to do is go online and elect to take the case to court - if you find that is still possible. If she does that and they take her to court then she can't lose."

Which part of that was unclear?
"Go online" means go to https://online.fines.vic.gov.au/Your-Fi ... ines-Login
"Elect to take the case to court" means lodge a court election online. You will find that option once you get the infringement details up.
"If it is still possible" means if that option is available. If it is not available then it means the infringement has reached Final Demand stage and her best option then is to pay up.
"If they take her to court" means if the police withdraw the fine and serve on her a charge and summons.
"she can't lose" means the police won't be able to prove she has committed any offence. So if she gets a summons for this offence come and see me if you want to win.


Thanks to Shaun for showing me the "door". My wife has just got out of the unfair speeding fine after she elected to take the case to court. She has just received a letter from Vic police stated: "Following a review of the above mentioned matter I wish to advise you that no further police action will be taken against you." The police didn't state the reason, would be nice to know.
Again, thanks muchly Shaun.


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