I’m a speed demon! 195



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I ‘got done’ for speeding this morning. An ominous letter arrived in the mail, emblazoned with the title of the sender –– Civic Compliance Victoria – so I knew before I even opened it that it had to be bad news. I confess it came as a complete surprise to me; for some years now I have been a pretty strict member of the ‘’don’’t exceed the limit’’ fraternity and I have even, to make things easier for me, set up my TomTom GPS unit so that it tells me what my exact speed is, as compared to the rather inaccurate speedo on the car’’s dashboard. Coupled with that, I also drive on my cruise control, set so that the GPS shows 99kmh, even though the car thinks it is doing 105. This means I automatically stay within the limit and I don’’t have to keep peering at my speedo to make sure I’’m not breaking the law, an added safety feature!

So, as I say, it came as a considerable surprise to me, to receive that letter telling me I had been a naughty boy, albeit an eighty-year-old one! I got an even greater shock when, on opening it, I found that I had been fined $185.00, and the reason – it said I had been traveling at 105 kilometres an hour in a 100 kilometre an hour zone, well within the default error anyone habitually gets on a car’’s speedo. I was being fined for a being mere five kilometres over the limit (which I actually doubt) and I was being slugged with what, to Jacqui and me as pensioners, was an enormous sum of money. We quite literally don’’t spend $185.00 a fortnight on all our housekeeping needs, food, cleaning materials and a few little luxuries, like an occasional small bar of chocolate each. We just can’’t afford any more, all the rest of our pension goes on rent, fuel and our one special item, the computer. When we’’ve done that each fortnight, it’’s a matter of battening down the hatches and waiting for the next pension period to start, in two weeks’’ time!

Now I’’m quite prepared to pay the fine, though I have written to the authorities to tell them there is no way I can just pay it outright on our income, so I am asking for time, perhaps $10.00 per fortnight, which means I’’ll clear the debt in about eight months. I’’ve always been a firm supporter of the idea that we have to pay up if we break the law, as I apparently did on this occasion, but I must admit I think it’’s a bit rich charging me $185.00 for being just 5 kilometres over the limit. That starts me thinking that perhaps all those people I’’ve read about, who say these fines are just money grabbing on the part of Councils, are right after all. I haven’’t been fined for a long time through speeding or any other driving offence, but I’m sure the last time I was caught doing 5 over the limit, I was only fined about $95, half the present charge!

Not only that but my recent burst of speed, if I actually had one, was on a stretch of brand new freeway in the Mornington Peninsula, only opened a few months ago and capable of quite safely handling cars travelling well over the 100 kilometres an hour limit, a limit I was happy to abide by and which I wasn’’t even aware I was exceeding! The ironic thing is, on our way back to Gippsland that afternoon, we travelled on a much older stretch of freeway, nowhere near the quality of the Mornington one, but on that freeway, between just east of Packenham and Morwell, the speed limit is 110 kilometres an hour. Just another factor to confuse the motorist, with speed changes changing all too frequently. All freeways should be limited to just one rate –– I don’’t care if it’’s 80, 100, 120 or even 150, just so long as it is consistent!

There, I’’ve had my moan, now all I have to do is start saving to pay this fine, always supposing the authorities allow me to pay it off with a ‘payment plan’, otherwise you might get my next article telling you what life is like in jail!

Brian Lee

  1. I have been told that the Australian Standard for speedometer error in motor vehicles is 10%. This being the case, all drivers should be given 10% lee-way from the posted speed limit. Oh, not as much revenue though.

  2. On a trip to Brisbane Airport I got lost in some new roads and tunnels and missed seeing the 80 sign so was fined for being 20km over the speed limit. I did not even realise that I was speeding.

  3. Ridiculous!!! With a good ‘record’ you can sometimes get the fine waived. Need to apply. Years ago we were fined for being 3k over in a 60 zone. Caused lots of laughter and fury, of course the fine wasn’t as much as yours and we were both working.

  4. Here’s a link to writing to Vic Pol about waiving a speeding fine if you were doing less than 10km over the limit. A couple of conditions but you would certainly have fitted into them: only just over the limit, not had a fine for 2 years and being prepared to say you were in the wrong. Like you I got pinged for the same $ amount – I was doing 43 in a 40 zone. I got off with a warning when I wrote. http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?document_id=10369. Good luck!

  5. State Governments are making hay with speeding fines to raise revenue. I’ve received 2 in the last three years, even went to the Magistrate’s Court its a no win situation.

  6. I think the speedo on your car is probably more accurate than the gps. The signals for the gps have to travel from the car to the satellite and back, and in that time the car has moved, so the speed reading will not be accurate.

  7. I hope you can plead your case and get this over turned – in fact they should just issue a warning etc in this instance.

  8. I agree this is just a revenue making business. It is always the wrong people that get caught. Also who says that the camera in the vehicle has been set up correctly.

  9. Ridiculous – but be glad you don’t live in SA. My husband recently had a similar experience and will soon be $409 poorer!

    1 REPLY
    • Yeah Sue, and they wonder why the public calls them revenue raisers… and as for some of those 50kph street limits…for years I drove down streets at 60kph and never had to speed, and never had a problem…and the 50 limits haven’t been in that long either. Now you creep over 50 and the peeps in blue are on you in a tick…either that or the black electronic gizmo on the front of the car will get you. I have had a couple of creeper fines too…but I am in Sth Oz. Funny i have never had a speeding fine over 70kph…yes the conservative types will say we should keep to the speed limits…I am waiting for those same people to complain when the zero tolerance comes in. Yes we should watch our speeds. Then you have the dopey idiots who want to change our national road speeds from 110 or 100 down to 80…well the truckies will take care of those idiots for us, and I will be happy to back the truckies in a flash. On top of that you have the idiots (on main 80kph highways), on the outside lane, doing 10k’s below the speed limit, causing even bus drivers who have to keep to a timetable to toot their horns to get the slow coaches in front to move along. I could go on with a myriad of complaints of those 10kph drivers. But I am sure others in this posting could help me out there.

  10. I don’t know if this is allowed. It wasn’t me getting the fine , it was my son , but it was still , in my opinion , ridiculous. From parked , He pulled out into the Main Street of our town, attached his seatbelt within seconds of doing so, and was fined $318 for the offense of ‘not having seatbelt legally secured while driving’. The police officer was on the opposite side of the street and saw the incident. He also lost 2 points. He also went to QLD last year to work with his brother and was fined on the day he was packed and returning home to NSW , because the wheels and tyres on his ute were not in accordance to QLD motor regulations. This was also a $300 fine , as well as a defect notice, which had to be paid , even though he explained he would be back in NSW later that day where they would comply. I am All for obeying the law and the rules of the road, but I do believe revenue raising is behind s majority of these so called offenses.

  11. I understand that where the offence is exceeding the speed limit by less than 10 kph and you have a previously clean record over a number of years, you can ask for the fine to be waived.

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