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QLD Fight Red Light Traffic Infringement Notice?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by tinned, 14 June 2016.

  1. tinned

    tinned Active Member

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    I've just received a traffic infringement notice for going through a red light.

    First, to explain the circumstances:

    It is a 4-lane main road intersection, with the first three lanes for drivers going straight, and the far right lane for drivers turning right. The arrow for turning right is red in the infringement, however, I was going straight, which was green at the time and the second photo shows this.

    What happened was, a possum (or a cat) darted out in front of me approximately 20m from the intersection, while I was in the lane closest to the right-turn lane, and I swerved about 1/3 of the way into the right-turn lane as I was veering out of its way.

    Just very unfortunate that this was at an intersection, and one fitted with a red light camera. You can see I don't have my indicator on (confirming I wasn't just changing my mind about turning right at the last minute), and the first photo shows me about halfway/one-third of the way into the right-turn lane. In the second photo, I'm straightened up and going forward.

    I'm electing to go to court to fight this as I will lose my drivers licence otherwise. My defence is:

    - I did not actually make the illegal turn, which the photographic evidence clearly indicates.
    - I was swerving from an animal, which is why I was partially in the other lane, which any reasonable person might do.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or know any precedents on an offence like this?

    Does anyone know if these fixed red light cameras also capture speed? If I can prove I was travelling at speed, it would certainly indicate that I wasn't simply 'changing' my mind about turning right, which I'm guessing would not be a defence.
     
  2. tinned

    tinned Active Member

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    No-one has any opinions here?
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Not really. There's no magic here that will make the infringement go away and there are no precedents that can help you. You appear articulate enough to fight it in court.

    Say nothing in court about losing your licence before sentencing, else it will appear this is the only reason you are fighting the infringement.

    You have a good story, just need to be believable in court and hope the magistrate has had a good day before he gets to your case. In Victoria, many contested cases are heard last. Be prepared to wait and wait and wait at court.

    If your licence is important to you, a good solicitor dealing with traffic cases on a regular basis may help improve your odds.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Criminal matters don't accrue into a body of precedent.

    In cases like yours, it's more commonly claimed to be a dog rather than a cat or a possum - it's one of those things where "that's what they all say".
     
  5. tinned

    tinned Active Member

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    Sorry, maybe a precedent was pushing it. I was curious if anyone has any experience in traffic law and know if this would be a defence worth pursuing. I'm sure the same excuses/defence come up time and time again, and circumstance can only change so much between cases. "It might be what they all say", sure, but like I said, there's only so many circumstances that can warrant a photographic red light infringement defense.

    If all excuses fall into the "that's what they all say", and the magistrates disregard these, what's the point of even having the option of appeal?

    Thanks for the help. I'm obviously not looking for a 'magic' solution, but I'm sure based on the circumstances I've stated that a traffic lawyer would have a reasonable approximation of success in the appeal.

    I won't be mentioning the licence/points issue, thanks. I'm definitely prepared to wait it out. I'll just be annoyed if I come out with the appeal rejected and the fine increased! Which I've heard can happen.
     
  6. AlphaR1

    AlphaR1 Active Member

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    As you went straight ahead and didn't turn right, you can argue that you were issued with the incorrect infringement notice as you didn't disobey the red arrow, you disobeyed the directional arrow painted on the right turn only lane, by entering the intersection from that lane and proceeding straight ahead.
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    In which case the police may issue a new infringement :) Stall things so more than 12 months pass, as they can't validly issue an infringement more than 12 months after the offence.
     
  8. AlphaR1

    AlphaR1 Active Member

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    It was camera detected, the police aren't involved.
     
  9. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. So who in QLD can issue an infringement if the original 'on the spot' infringement is dismissed? Someone needs to take the case dismissal, say hmm, wrong offence, let's try this again under a different offence. It can't be the courts. Courts can't create their own cases. If the original offence goes to court, it is a police prosecutor taking the brief and prosecuting the poor sod.

    And you run into the issue of double jeopardy, being tried twice for the same act.
    *Wonders if the doctrine of stare decisis would apply??
     
  10. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a similar situation. Only in this instance, I slowed down to maneurvre around the potholes in the intersection....one I had been driving over for 30 years. I crossed the line just enough to trip the camera and give the impression I was turning right against a red arrow. I duly got alleging "Disobey Red Disc" and demanding $454.

    What I did (and what you should have done) was ring the Fines Infringement Branch (Adelaide) and explain that was travelling due South through a green light. My telephonist sounded about 18 and was obviously new at the job. She insisted breezily that I was turning right.
    I got put onto a supervisor after that who had to put me on hold while he talked to even higher authorities. He came back and said to just do nothing. We'll be in touch.

    As the date for payment drew near and I had heard nothing, I sent a letter saying that if the matter was not decided on in X days, I would seek legal advice.

    Within a few days, i received a reply saying it had been withdrawn.

    If you think that the photo clearly shows you couldn't have been turning right, then I would elect for court.

    Let us know how you get on.
     

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