LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Fined for Riding Segway - Have Fines Reduced Under Traffic Law?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by testplayer, 17 September 2016.

Tags:
  1. testplayer

    testplayer Active Member

    Joined:
    17 September 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got caught while riding the "segway" (or "hoverboard"), and the policeman told me he will issue a caution or so, and it shouldn't be very high fine because I told him I paid less than $300 for the segway. However, penalty notices were still issued. 1 for unregistered vehicle $650, 1 for uninsured vehicle $650, 1 for not wearing helmet $325.

    I requested a review online, stating clearly that I never knew this is considered as a motor vehicle and, hence, I never knew this requires registration/insurance/helmet. I'm not knowingly riding an unregistered thing. But they refused to change it to caution and the penalties still apply. So if I request a decision by court, do I need to hire a lawyer? Can they completely dismiss this case, or at least significantly reduce the fine under Traffic Law?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    263
    No. You can be self-represented, plead guilty, show remorse, etc., and throw yourself at the mercy of the court. Dressing well, and being respectful both help.

    Yes, though how likely they are is unknown.

    Yes. You can be found guilty and have the case dismissed with no fine. I don't know how likely this is.

    What are the alleged offences on the penalty notices - ie: What are the Acts and Sections printed on the notices? And where are you alleged to have committed the offences (eg public road, footpath, other)?
     
    testplayer likes this.
  3. testplayer

    testplayer Active Member

    Joined:
    17 September 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    But if I plead guilty, will this court record be shown on police certificate (Australian Federal Police criminal record I think)? I may need this certificate to apply for visa, etc.

    1. Offence: Use unregistered registrable Class A motor vehicle on road
    2. Offence: Use uninsured motor vehicle
    3. Offence: Rider not wear approved bicycle helmet/fitted/fastened

    I was only riding on footpath, nowhere else.

    Anyway, thank you very much for you reply!:)
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    263
    Please provide Act and section number. Saves time looking up the offences.
     
  5. testplayer

    testplayer Active Member

    Joined:
    17 September 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, what are these numbers? I couldn't find them on the paper-based penalty notices that I received...
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    263
    There should be something along the lines of:

    Offence: Rider not wear approved bicycle helmet/fitted/fastened -> NSW Road Rules 2008, s 256 or maybe RR2008, s256.
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    263
    After further checking, it seems hoverboards are banned from roads and footpaths. I'm surprised, but it appears to be the law.

    Means either paying up, or contesting it at court. I don't know if a guilty verdict at court affects visa applications.
     
  8. testplayer

    testplayer Active Member

    Joined:
    17 September 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, there is no this kind of information available on the paper-based notice.

    Well, the notices have contradiction themselves: if hoverboard/segway is completely banned on public space (it seems to be the case, except for private properties), how can it be "registrable" as stated on the notice and why should it be insured? And according to the other notice about helmet, if I'm ever required to wear an approved bicycle helmet/fitted/fastened, then I was not riding an unregistered "motor vehicle". How can these stupid laws exist or notices be issued?

    Anyway, as a bottom line, I'm OK to be convicted for "not wearing bicycle helmet", and even if this offence appears on police certificate, nobody on earth will think that I'm a questionable person because I'm not creating public danger or irresponsible to other people, and it's very trivial to explain the situation. However, the offence of "using unregistered/uninsured motor vehicle" sounds like I was a shady person driving an unregistered car which is much more severer than minor traffic offence like speeding or so.

    I know usually police/prosecutor will file as many charges as they can, regardless of the suitability of the law and the nature of offences, to guarantee that there will be some of them not being dismissed.

    I talked to a lawyer today, and I was told that they will charge ~1500 to represent me in the court, and if a trial is needed and they need to defend me, they will charge 5000 or more, that's really ridiculous and not worthy.

    On the other hand, they told me that I could request about "section 10" such that I am technically guilty but no formal conviction so no criminal record generated, and penalty converted to caution so that I don't need to pay, but this will completely depend on the magistrate so it could be risky.

    I'm wondering is there any other option in the court?
     
  9. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    263
    Interesting. In Victoria they have to tell you what law has been contravened, looks like the regulations in NSW state they only have to give the short description.

    Reading the NSW Road Rules, you should not be convicted on the helmet charge as you were not riding a bicycle (ie human powered vehicle with wheels).

    re: Uninsured vehicle. Is interesting. If you have a public insurance policy that protects you from claims of injury and property damage, you may be able to argue you had insurance. Tricky one, I don't know enough insurance law to know for certain. Check with your home insurance about public liability for injury and property damage.

    re: Unregistered vehicle. Can't see any loop holes for you here :(

    I know next to nothing about immigration/visas/international travel so can't help with that side of your query.

    Nope.

    You either plead not guilty to each offence, or plead guilty to each offence, or plead differently for one or two offences.

    If pleading guilty, as your lawyer said, you can request a section 10 dismissal. The magistrate is not obliged to give you one. This is where genuine remorse and proper deferential behaviour in court matters. If you go to court with a bad attitude don't expect any discounts/breaks from the Magistrate.

    Or just pay the fines.
     
  10. testplayer

    testplayer Active Member

    Joined:
    17 September 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I've been a temporary skilled worker in Australia for 1 year and several months, and I just got a new job in other country so I will leave in less than 3 months or even 2.

    I've never driven cars in this country, so I have no driver licence, no car/home insurance, etc. But the point is that, if a motor vehicle is anyway illegal to use on the road, why should it be insured? Is it reasonable to insure an illegal motor vehicle?

    Same point again, on the penalty notice, it is clearly stated that "registerable". But if a motor vehicle is registerable, how can it be banned? If it is banned completely on public space, how can I register it?

    So what will happen if I plead not guilty to all of them? If I plead guilty, will I have any opportunity to elaborate the contradiction of these stupid laws and notices (I'll definitely show remorse and behave deferentially without using words like "stupid"), and state clearly again that I'm not knowingly use an unregistered/uninsured thing etc.? Is the burden of proof of my knowingly use supposed to lie on the police/prosecutor?
     

Share This Page

Loading...