Speed cameras are some of the most conspicuous tools used by law enforcement officials on the roads. In the last financial year, speed cameras drew fines of more than $100 million in NSW alone. In most instances, the ticket is fairly given, but sometimes you will come across someone that’s sure the camera is wrong.
It might be difficult to dispute the accuracy of speed cameras in NSW, but it definitely isn’t impossible. Surprisingly, heavy vehicle drivers are usually at a unique advantage when disputing the accuracy of a speed camera. The monitoring technology found in many of today’s trucks means that drivers usually have evidence proving that the speed camera is faulty.
Can Speed Cameras Produce Incorrect Readings?
A driver recently found themselves in this exact position. He is a heavy vehicle driver who received a speed camera fine that alleged he was driving about 20km/h about the speed limit. Shocked, he was confident that a mistake had been made.
Fortunately, that driver’s vehicle was fitted with cameras and GPS tracking. Their employer drew the data for the exact moment when the alleged speeding offence took place. The video showed exactly when they drove past the camera and the GPS showed the speed that they were travelling at the time. Indeed, the driver was driving below the speed limit.
Armed with this hard evidence, the driver opted to dispute the fine in Court. You might assume that such a case would be an easy guaranteed win, but this wasn’t the case. As with many things associated with road transport law, it isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
Can I Dispute A Speed Camera Reading?
The speed camera laws in NSW are written very strictly and definitely not in the favour of drivers. The law contains rules regarding the maintenance of speed cameras and the information that should be on the photos. As long as the requirements are met, the photos are all the evidence that’s needed for the alleged speeding.
The law allows people to challenge the accuracy of the camera (just as it does with drunk driving cases and the accuracy of the breathalyser test), but with a catch. The evidence that contradicts the camera should be given by an ‘expert’.
You are not allowed to just show your video and GPS data to the Magistrate. Instead, you are required to find and pay for an expert in speed cameras to explain exactly why the camera was wrong in your case, which is neither an easy nor affordable task.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed in the driver’s case referred to above. The drink driving lawyers at Ainsley Law who also represent clients facing prosecution for various traffic offences, including speeding, negotiated with the prosecutors and showed why the camera reading was unreliable. To their credit, they acted fairly once they saw the evidence and withdrew the fine.
The example above shows just how sometimes the balance the law needs to find between ensuring that people are held accountable for offences and ensuring that they have a fair chance to defend themselves tips too far in one direction sometimes.
Speed cameras are definitely an important tool for law enforcement officials and fair enforcement of the road rules is important to ensure everyone’s safety. Still, it is worth acknowledging the fact that speed cameras are not infallible, just as is the case with any other technology including breathalysers in the case of drink driving.
So, what should you do after receiving a speed camera fine you are sure is wrong or a breathalyser reading that is incorrect? The first step is gathering evidence to check that it supports your case. The next step is contacting the drink driving and traffic lawyers at Ainsley Law.
This is one of those situations where having a lawyer guiding the process helps. The laws are incredibly complicated and taking the fine to court sometimes can make the situation worse. You need to ensure that you follow the right track before getting started.
If you have been caught speeding or drink driving and need the advice of a lawyer, please contact us at Ainsley Law. Our team of lawyers can guide you through your options.
Please call us today at (02) 8294 5697 or leave an enquiry.