Grumpy Men: I Just Joined The Club

Posted by Neville on May 7, 2011 under News, Traffic | Comments are off for this article

It all started with a short drive into Port Pirie this morning.

Grumpy Old ManAfter the 30 minute drive, most of the time doing 100kph (under the speed limit) and a couple of quick stops at garage sales, I turned off a side road onto one of the major arterial roads into the city centre. Just about 300 metres down the road I saw a police car pulled into the side of the Golf Course. Hidden very nicely in the shadows.

A quick glance at my speedo, and I thought that I saw I was maybe just a little over the 50kph. Next I saw the light flash on the police car, he started to pull out, and then flashed his lights when he pulled in behind me.

His laser gun said 62kph. I could hardly believe it!

The result, a $256 expiation notice.

The conversation went like this:

Police Officer: Is there a reason for travelling at this speed? (Shows me the read out on the laser gun).

Me: No, I’m sure I wasn’t travelling at that speed.

Police Officer: Do you have Cruise Control? (Why would he ask that question?)

Me: No.

Police Officer: Do you have your licence?

Me: Yes. (I hand it to him).

Police Officer: Take a seat in your car. (Then he returns with my licence to his car)

I stood outside my car and noticed that he was checking something, which I presume was his onboard computer. After a few minutes he returned with the $256 expiation notice.

I expressed surprise at the $256 figure for the expiation. He then said suggested that it was excessive, as in the UK (where he came from) it would be 35 pounds (approx AU$70). It also indicated this was not revenue raising. That’s the law. (See a later conversation with a constable at the local police station.)

After a short discussion, about the trivial nature of this alleged offence, during which the officer was not about to change his mind, I proceeded on with my journey. However I felt much less safe as a driver as I was now paying much more attention attention to the speedo and less to the road and conditions around me. Go figure!

After completing a couple of tasks, I returned to the scene, just to confirm the conditions and the situation. The same police officer was camped in the same position, and as we approached a 4 wheel drive vehicle travelling in the opposite direction was flagged in. I presume he was also alleged to be speeding, but my judgement of the situation is that he was NOT.  The road conditions at the time would have been similar. The picture above shows the police car and the 4 wheel drive pulled in to the side of he road after being signalled by the police officer to do so.

I then proceeded to the local police station to discuss my options and to try to determine how often the laser guns are tested for accuracy. I was told that at the end of the shift that the officer has to check it and submit a report. Just what that means I’m not sure, but I will following that through.

What was even more enlightening was that the constable who I spoke to (the sergeant has just popped out for few minutes), also implied that the expiation fee is excessive. Even more concerning is that the revenue raised from these expiations goes into General Revenue and not specifically into Road Safety programs. Now if that isn’t revenue raising, what is?

More to follow! This could develop into a saga!

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