Category Archives: FINES

Police defend speeding policy in fining people for minor speed infringements

Police have defended their focus on low-level speeding radar gun use image

Police have defended their focus on low-level speeding

New South Wales and Victoria police have hit back at claims by Mazda Australia boss Martin Benders that the focus on speeding has created a nation of distracted drivers.

Speaking at a press event in Japan this week Benders said he believes Australian drivers have become too focused on not speeding at the detriment of driving standards.

Benders, who spent six years working in Mazda’s operations in Japan and Europe, believes that the Australian law enforcement’s decision to focus so heavily on low-level speeding has contributed to a significant drop in driving standards.

“I have to say, having been away six years, I’m amazed how bad the driving has gotten in Australia in terms of a focus on not going 1km/h over – it’s just shocking,” Benders said at a press conference in Japan. “And yet we’ve got the police standing up saying ‘we can’t have distracted drivers’ – we’ve got nothing but distracted drivers. They are so focused on whether they are 1km/h out on the speed limit or not, it’s shocking. It is a real problem in Australia.”


Masashi Otskua, project leader on the CX-5 and CX-9 SUVs, said he was surprised by the strict nature of Australian police about speeding during his fact-finding visits here.

“Before I went to Australia I thought Australians would be very tolerant,” Otsuka said. “That was not the case.”

But police in both NSW and Victoria are adamant that their focus on speeding is necessary to cut the road toll.

“Speed is a major killer on our roads,” Victorian Roads Policing Superintendent Neville Taylor told Fairfax Media.

“Research shows that you are more likely to collide with another car, hit a pedestrian or run off the road if you exceed the speed limit.

“This is why maximum speed limits exist and police will be enforcing them. If you are travelling above the posted speed limit, you can expect to be stopped by police.

“You may not think that a few kilometres extra will make a big difference but research shows that it does. We are trying to change the culture and make all speeding socially unacceptable, the way we did with drink driving and not wearing seatbelts.”

New South Wales police directed Fairfax to recent road safety data from Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics that showed a 25 per cent drop in road deaths between 2004 and 2013.

Henry Sapiecha


It was 34 degrees so I left the windows down slightly so it wouldn’t be boiling hot for my 3-year-old son when we got back in.

Julian Harris with fine he copped for leaving his car window down

“I was trying to do the right thing…it’s just what you do with it being so hot in Queensland.”

Mr Harris returned to the car, which was parked on Windsor Place at Deception Bay, about two hours later to discover the fine for an offence he had never heard of.

Defending police’s handling of the incident, Comissioner Stewart said the officer involved had been acting on information that there had been property crime in the area.

Mr Stewart said he has reviewed photographs taken by the officer and believed he acted appropriately.

“I would back the judgement of my officer. From the footage that I saw and the reasons that I know the officer utilised to undertake this enforcement in that area, I think the officer was doing a good job.

“The officer was acting on an intelligence brief in that area that here had been a number of thefts from motor vehicles and unlawful uses.”

The officer checked five vehicles – issuing warnings in three cases when he could locate the owners and fines in the two other cases.

“The vehicle actually commits three very obvious offences. One is that it is parked on the incorrect side of the road. The second is that it’s parked on the footpath. And the third that it doesn’t obey the law in relation to the window being open.

“The officer didn’t give them three tickets. The officer simply gave this car a ticket for the matter he was doing his job for, which was to try and drop the number of unlawful entries into cars.

“The officer acted quite appropriately and within the law. I would hope that the public would recognise that the officer did use discretion.”

Under Queensland law, if a driver is more than 3m from their car, the vehicle must be “secured” with the engine off, hand brake applied, ignition key removed (if no one over 16 remains in vehicle) and windows up with a gap no more than 5cm.

Perplexed by his fine, the Albany Creek resident attended the police station and spoke to the officer who issued the ticket.
Henry Sapiecha