NSW SDRO Request for Review - Tree Partially Covering Speed Limit Sign?

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26 June 2015
Hoping someone can assist me with the following incident.

Recently I was recorded by a "red light speed camera" doing 74 in a 60 zone at around midnight.

I was quite surprised at this, so I went back to review the sign. When I returned to the warning sign, it became apparent that a tree (sapling) had been planted in front of the sign which was partially covering both the camera warning sign and the speed limit sign. The speed limit sign being partially covered was quite easily misinterpreted as being 80, not 60.

I sent pictures to the NSW State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) as part of my submission requesting a review, however, they replied by stating the following.
......"We considered the circumstances you presented. We also consulted the Caution/Review Guidelines, legislation and photographic evidence. Our investigations conclude the penalty still applies.
We acknowledge the time you took in supplying the photographs. However we have no way of determining if they reflect the situation at the time of the offence. If you think the sign need attention, you can contact Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) on 132213."......

Another point regarding this fine, is that there are usually several warning signs leading up to a camera, however in this instance, there are several access streets leading to this main road which bypass the warning signs, so the only warning sign is the last one before the camera which was the one partially covered by the sapling.

Does anyone have any recommendations in relation to this offence, as I believe it's a clear case of revenue raising rather than an attempt at road safety.

Thank you!


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
Pay up and move on, or if you have the time and/or money, fight it in court.

From your description you have a reasonable case but is no guarantee of a win at court.

One thing these tax cameras are doing is causing people to take more of an interest in law and standing up for their rights. It is also changing community attitudes to police and policing for the worse. Instead of thinking the police are there to keep us safe, the prevailing attitude could well move to one of depriving us of our rights that we currently take for granted. Losing the ability to drive because you got a seatbelt fine on a public holiday and low level speeding fines can mean losing your right to drive.

I find people doing 80kmh on a busy but flowing freeway much more dangerous than someone doing 103 kmh. People braking and suddenly turning without indicating are much more dangerous than doing 53kmh on a straight wide suburban street. People with bald tyeares are more dangerous than doing 3kmh over the limit. The emphasis by State governments on raising revenue through these tax cameras is disturbing :(

I got caught once doing 49kmh in a temporary 40kmh zone. I was in very light traffic, past the cause of the problem (truck stopped in left lane), had no cars for 500 meters in front of me, no obstructions, closest car behind was probably 100 m behind, 3 lanes of open road, but the 40kmh zone finished a little further up. Was it speeding - yes, was I unsafe - no. There is no discretion in these offences. :( Government lost some of my goodwill the day I got that fine in the mail.