The iconic red and blue lights, accompanied by a wailing siren, is often associated by people with a sinking feeling and dread over what is to follow.
With speeding fines being issued to members of the public on a common occurrence, there are often questions being asked and advice being sought regarding what rights the driver has available to them after being fined.
Speeding in NSW is as costly as it is inconvenient, with the results being anything from a single fine, up to a loss of license for extended periods.
In many cases, having an experienced and a specialized driving offence lawyer like us can be invaluable to the driver’s cause, giving them tailored information and therefore the optimal chance of having their speeding fine appealed successfully if taken to court.
How am I caught speeding by the police?
The police have more than one way to gauge people driving over the speed limit in Australia, with the highway patrol vehicle being perhaps the most well known, this police car is fitted out with advanced technology and a speed detection system, that is able to detect any speeding from passing motorists.
Police officers can be also equipped with hand held radar guns that work in a similar fashion, and to be used at any time.
With $223m raised in government revenue from speeding fines in the calendar year of 2014 – 2015 alone, (according to the data published by New South Wales Government Data), it consequently raised a lot of questions surrounding the method in which motorists are booked and the amount of money gathered by government from these fines.
How does it work if I’m caught speeding by a mobile speed camera unit?
Mobile speed camera units are best defined as an equipped van that is often seen pulled over to the side of the road and monitoring the speed of approaching motorists.
These mobile speed camera units change location constantly and are equipped with technology that can trace a cars speed with accuracy, taking photographic evidence at the time of the offense.
A driver caught going over the speed limit with this mobile camera used by the highway patrol, will be promptly photographed and sent the notification via mail, this can take from a couple of days to a few weeks timeframe.
How much can I be fined for speeding?
A fine such as this can include numerous factors including the driver’s license status (Learner, Provisional or Full license), the type of car that was driven and speed when caught.
A fine can range anywhere from $119 to $3,691 and up to 7 demerit points can be taken from the driver’s license (which can lead to the license, therefore, being suspended).
For the full list of applicable NSW fines as of 1st July 2018, see here.
When can my license be suspended for speeding?
A driver can have their license suspended if they are caught doing more than 30 km/hr over the speed limit, either by police or by speed cameras fixed and mobile.
The time the license is suspended can depend on how fast the driver was going:
• Three Months License Suspension – Between 30km/hr to 45km/hr over the speed limit
• Six Months License Suspension – More than 45km/hr over the speed limit
Do I have to be pulled over for speeding in NSW?
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not always mandatory for a police officer to give out a fine if they detect the driver driving faster than the road limit.
Police officers have a degree of discretion when it comes to issuing a fine and can take circumstances into account when making that decision.
When is alternatively a fixed speed camera or a mobile speed camera unit, the driver will receive the notice automatically via post and will be able to dispute the matter in court.
What should I do if I am pulled over for speeding?
Being pulled over is often a nerve-wracking experience, but it is important to remain calm and most importantly, think before speaking.
Though police radar equipment is quite high tech, it is open to error on occasion and the fine issued can be disputed in court.
Even if the officer claims to have evidence, or even shows the driver the reading, it is still at that point an allegation and opens for a dispute with the courts.
That is why the driver should speak carefully during their conversation with the police officer after being pulled over, it is highly important as the conversation is being recorded and can be used a viable evidence and admission to the incident in court later on if the issue is taken that far.
It is also important to still co-operate with the authority and show information requested (such as license and vehicle registration), other than that, the driver is not legally required to answer any other questions and as is always advised, say as little as possible.
Questions regarding the reason for the fast driving can be politely declined to answer by the driver, as it is not legally required for the driver to answer those remarks.
A fact that is not always well known to public is that there is a policy for police radar guns that makes them supposed to be used in accident black spots or risky areas, information such as this can be an important factor in a future court case if the police was using their radar equipment in an area outside of jurisdiction.
What can I do after being charged with speeding?
There are options available to drivers that have been issued with a fine such as this, it is not always necessary to just pay out the ticket amount.
There are often occasions where the police officer or their equipment can be at fault or other circumstances in relation to the fine.
This is where a traffic lawyer can be invaluable to the driver’s case, with experience and specialty in that area of law, a solicitor giving tailored advice can often be the defining factor in a successful case for the driver.
if the driver believes that the penalty is wrongly given, then speaking to a solicitor should be the done quickly before taking the matter further.