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Speeding Ticket

upstate N.Y
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7 posts
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Speeding Ticket

My Son, and I , recently returned from 17 wonderful days in Australia. I also recently received, via mail, a speeding ticket from the automated traffic division. It says I was doing 70 kph in a 60 kph zone. The fine of $215 seems awful excessive for what amounts to 5 mph over the speed limit. What are my options? There doesn't appear to be anyway to appeal this or lessen the fine. What happens if I ignore it? Response is appreciated.

Sydney, AUS
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147 posts
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1. Re: Speeding Ticket

How did they get your address? From the car rental company I presume...

In answer to your question - the official part at least - you'll find it on the back of the letter you received. It should included a section on appealing the fine. There is usually an option for a court appearance which, if unsuccessful, will result in an even higher fine and court costs.

This is not a suitable site on which to provide legal assistance and this should in no way be interpreted as legal assistance. You should consult your own lawyer for legal advice.

Police and traffic fines fall under the jurisdiction of the State government. You don't mention which one so I can't be more specific.

However in general, a speeding fine is a strict liability offence. Therefore the state is not required to prove your intention to speed (the mens rea), as is required for a criminal offence. The reasons you might offer in mitigation do not therefore matter. To put it bluntly: you were either speeding or you were not.

It is ambiguous as to whether 70 in a 60 zone falls in the lowest or second lowest bracket for speeding. If it is the lowest, then there's nothing you can do - it can't be lowered. I fail to see how and why the Police (or court) would lessen the charge given it's a strict liability offence.

If you'd been caught by a Police officer then as a gesture of goodwill s/he might have lowered the speeding bracket (your lucky day). However you appear to have been caught by a fixed camera, so I don't fancy your chances. Your only realistic option would be to prove the speed camera was defective etc but that would involve a court appearance in a potentially expensive legal matter.

So this takes me to the other part of my response. Unless you plan to come back to Australia or the appropriate State jurisdiction here and N.Y. have a reciprocal traffic management agreement, in which case you might get into a spot of bother at (your) home, you could always ignore the fine and do nothing!

Then again it might be considerably simpler, not to mention more prudent, just to pay the fine.

Good luck.

Sydney, AUS
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147 posts
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2. Re: Speeding Ticket

I've only just noticed that this post is in the Viictorian sub-section of the Australian forum, so I assume the offence took place in Victoria. Reply above still stands.

gk
Brisbane, Australia
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2,280 posts
55 reviews
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3. Re: Speeding Ticket

I had a friend in a similar situation. You could ignore it, and I'm sure they won't do anything, but if you want to come back into the country at any time, it could be held against you. You might want to pay it to clear your conscience as well. :)

Melbourne, Australia
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362 posts
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4. Re: Speeding Ticket

:-\ bigowl14422; tough way for you to learn about Victoria’s draconian speed revenue system. I don’t know what the implications or legal obligations are for you now that you’ve escaped back to NY but the links below make for some interesting reading.

According to the “fightfines” website below; estimated revenue from Traffic fines for the Victorian Government’s 2006 budget was $343,495,000… maybe they’ve revised that now to $343,495,215! … On the bright side for you; that is Australian Dollars.

“5 mph over the speed limit” might not seem like much to you but here in Vic “5 kmph” over the limit buys you a ticket to the Policeman’s ball… except they won’t let you in of course! You might have noticed a lot of us Vics are cross-eyed… We get RSI from keeping one eye on our (hopefully accurate) speedos!

http://www.trafficlaw.com.au/speeding.html

http://www.fightfines.info

On a serious note, as mentioned by Prof_Homer, it’s probably best you get some local NY legal advice.

Hope it hasn’t put you off coming back here!

Regards, Wally B :-)

P.S. I ♥ upstate NY ☺ I had a lot of fun at Lake George a number of years ago and no speeding fines! ☺

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
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1,304 posts
84 reviews
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5. Re: Speeding Ticket

Australia has really tough traffic laws. Speeding, drink driving and hooning all attract penalties which are higher than in many parts of the US.

the best thing to do would be to pay it. challenges to speeding fines are not often sucessful, unless you can prove that there was an identifiable error int he cars speedo (only works if it is regularly calibrated), or that the speed sign was significantly obscured (also very hard to prove).

They can enforece the fine on you in NY, but they are unlikely to do so. however if you challenged the fine and had costs awared against you, those costs and the original fine can be enforced by the courts in NY on behalf of the courts in VIC.

if you choose not to pay the fine they may seek to have the fine enforced through the NY courts, it will also be noted in immigration and if you ever try to enter australia they will detain you and make you pay the fine, plus interest on that amount. they are also allowed to refuse you entry to the country if you have outstanding fines payable (even if you pay the fine at customs).

they can also pursue you if you go to NZ at any time.

Melbourne
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3,247 posts
9 reviews
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6. Re: Speeding Ticket

Hi Big

Yes the laws are tough here and the fine does seem high as it is the lower end of the scale i.e 0 to 15 kms over the limit after allowing for the 3km allowance.

If I were you I would write back to them and explain that you were visitors here and were not used to our traffic limits and are used to mph not kph etc etc. t least then there will be something in the system for them to consider and reply to. I would also say that you do not believe you were 10km over the limit if you think that was the case and ask for a copy of the photo evidence. They then will at least have to review it and look at the evidence and have to decided whether to proceed or not and this will be done by a person not the machine that has sent out the notice you have and the future reminders and penalties.

If you just leave it the penalties for late payment will just mount up until it becomes a bigger issue and it will be harder for them to do anhthing positive about it and will be a much bigger problem if you ever want to return to Australia. And at least bt writing you can buy yorself some time. By the way what is the location of the infringement & does it say mobile of fixed camera. Reason being that there has been a lot of controversy in the past couple of years about the accuracy of fixed cameras.

Good Luck

Omaha
1 post
1 review
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7. Re: Speeding Ticket

I received a speeding ticket as well. Mailed to me.

Based on this ticket, I paid it and use it as a reminder that I don't belong in Australia, nor do any of my tourist dollars.

There's lots of other places to visit in the world.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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18,866 posts
182 reviews
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8. Re: Speeding Ticket

Maybe because of your speeding ticket, and those issued to others, you are alive to travel elsewhere in the world...

I find it interesting that someone breaks the country's law then whinges about being caught...

in short, they are not speed advisory signs, they are speed limits..and that's what they are for, to limit your speed...break the limit and you break the law.

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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9. Re: Speeding Ticket

having lived and driven in nebraska i am somewhat glad that u wont be bringing your lax driving standards back to this country, jmerchant.

australia
Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
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3,258 posts
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10. Re: Speeding Ticket

its easy to accidentally go over the speed limit one ce in a while but to co-incientally do it in front of a fixed speed camera, sort of infers one was terribly unluackey to have that lapse of concentration to vehicle speed right at that moemnt or maybe drove in excess of the speed more than just in one location.