QLD Disputing Unfair Traffic Law Fine?

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vonsnrub

Active Member
19 November 2015
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I was riding my motorcycle up a mountain road when I encountered a car driving at roughly 15km/hr due to a cyclist riding ahead. After maintaining a safe distance between myself and the car for several minutes, an opportunity to overtake was observed along an uphill stretch of the road with good visibility. It had become clear the driver of the car had no intention of passing the cyclist as he had failed to do so at other intervals and upon reaching the straight section of road, I was signalled by the driver to overtake.

Following this, myself and 4 other riders (including an undercover police officer) were able to safely overtake the driver and the cyclist without exceeding the road speed limit of 70km/hr while the driver remained to the far left of the lane. It was after this that the police officer then overtook the 3 other motorcyclists and signalled for me to pull over and subsequently issued me a fine for failing to keep left of the centre dividing line.

When I got home I looked up the rules regarding overtaking on single white lines and found a passage (Part 11/139/2(b) + Part 11/125/2(b) of the Road Use Management Rules) stating that you are permitted to pass over single white lines if a vehicle ahead is driving abnormally slow given the circumstances so long as the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic, it is necessary to drive on the dividing line to avoid the obstruction, and the driver can do so in a safe manner.

The whole thing seems pretty unfair so I've elected to take it to court. Just wondering if anyone has any opinion about disputing a fine in traffic law court.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Take notes now while you clearly remember everything.

Note down what appear to be trivial details. Make/model/colour of car. Was driver male or female, weather conditions, time of day, how far ahead you could see, etc, etc. The more you convince the magistrate you know what you were doing, the better your chances. Also mention the copper obviously felt it was safe enough to pass at the same point you did.

At court just be honest, quote the relevant road rules and see how you go.
 

vonsnrub

Active Member
19 November 2015
5
0
31
Take notes now while you clearly remember everything.

Note down what appear to be trivial details. Make/model/colour of car. Was driver male or female, weather conditions, time of day, how far ahead you could see, etc, etc. The more you convince the magistrate you know what you were doing, the better your chances. Also mention the copper obviously felt it was safe enough to pass at the same point you did.

At court just be honest, quote the relevant road rules and see how you go.

Thanks for your input. Luckily, I tried to do that as much as possible, took photos of the exact stretch of road but unfortunately couldn't remember the make of the car. I actually sent a letter to the Officer in charge with all this info to dispute it.

Took them 2-3 months before they sent me back a letter essentially saying 'sod off, pay the fine we're never wrong" hence why court is my next best bet.
 

Lance

Well-Known Member
31 October 2015
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2,394
It sounds like you have it in hand. Keep your argument rational and free of emotion, don't use "it seems pretty unfair". The police officer is just applying one piece of legislation to the situation and you have found another piece that can be applied in the given situation. I would be surprised if the court doesn't find in your favour.
 

vonsnrub

Active Member
19 November 2015
5
0
31
It sounds like you have it in hand. Keep your argument rational and free of emotion, don't use "it seems pretty unfair". The police officer is just applying one piece of legislation to the situation and you have found another piece that can be applied in the given situation. I would be surprised if the court doesn't find in your favour.

Thanks, it's reassuring to hear that, I will try to be as succinct as possible. This will be my first time in court and even though it's only for a minor infringement I'm a little unsure of what to expect.

I know there will be a Police prosecutor and possibly the Officer who booked me as a prosecution witness. Will I need to be aware of things like objections (hearsay, irrelevant)? Also, if I call one of the people who committed the same "offence" as me (who didn't get booked) as a witness and I am still found guilty, does that mean my witness is also liable for being booked because they admitted to a court they did the same thing?
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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Will I need to be aware of things like objections (hearsay, irrelevant)? Also, if I call one of the people who committed the same "offence" as me (who didn't get booked) as a witness and I am still found guilty, does that mean my witness is also liable for being booked because they admitted to a court they did the same thing?

Don't get caught up with objections. The prosecutor is likely to run rings around you and distract you from your key points. If you get flustered and distracted in court you may lose your train of thought and fail to mention your key pieces of evidence.

Wouldn't bring in a witness just to say he didn't get caught. Adds no value to you case. What is useful for the witness to say is that it was a safe place to pass.

Doesn't hurt to speculate that the driver was a support driver for the cyclist and had no intention of passing the cyclist and is why they waved you past.