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NSW Drivers Licence Suspended Due to Vandalised Speed Limit Sign?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Elvis, 28 June 2016.

  1. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Hi all, I'm in court in a few days. I'm fighting a fine and suspension for speeding in a 60 zone on Badgerys Creek Road, Badgerys Creek.

    My drivers licence was suspended on the spot. I was not aware of the speed limit change and continued without reducing my speed for a few kilometres before being pinged for speeding by a stationary lidar setup. The reason I missed the speed sign is it was vandalised, and completely unreadable, it had no port on one side and the other was completely blacked out and in blended in with the backdrop.

    Can anyone help? In court in a week. I can't find anything in traffic law to do with damaged signs.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    See s 322(2) of the Road Rules.

    Many of the cases dealing with this kind of issue are not reported. I found one a case dealing with an incorrect traffic sign (so not exactly matching your case): Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW v Dunlop 79 NSWLR 217 however one of the underlying principles is applicable to you.

    There probably are a few cases that can help but you'll need a good traffic lawyer to help you as he'll have them in his computer ready to use in examples like your yours.
     
  3. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Thanks, I'm fighting this on my own now. I'm also in the family court and that is eating up all what money I have.

    I don't really understand what it means. There are a number facts I'm trying to find. One is, what should one do when driving and come across a speed sign that is unreadable? My guess is to use the default Speeds in NSW, but I'm unable to find it in law.

    When I was pulled over, it appears rural and not built up going by the "NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines" it states at 3.2.1 in paragraph 3, "Motorists are required to know that default limit applies in the absence of signs" would this cover a damaged and unreadable sign, is it safe to say the sign is absent if you can't read it.

    It also states under (a) Location of signs "At each change of speed limit, two-speed restriction sign (R4-1) are to be provided. A sign is positioned on each side of the carriageway in a symmetrical position"

    There is only one sign at the Speed change location, not 2.

    Anyways, not sure how I will go, fingers crossed.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You are going in with two defences:
    • Honest and reasonable mistake of fact (Proudman v Dayman defence)
    • Incorrect display of speed signs
    As well is pleading not guilty, you can also ask before sentencing if the magistrate will find you guilty but use his discretion under Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 to find you guilty and dismiss the charges. This would only work if all the stars line up for you ie: You get a good magistrate, he accepts your evidence about the signs, you show the proper respect to court, you have a good record etc. You need the magistrate on your side, don't annoy or irritate him.

    The other side will have your driving history so you don't need you own copy. May help taking references from community groups you are involved in or from your employer. Shows you are contributing member of society and not a 'drop-kick' that needs to be taught a lesson.

    Have reasons ready for why you need your licence (eg: to see kids, keep employment etc).

    Good luck.
     

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