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TRAFFIC CAMERAS

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FIGHT THIS DISGRACEFUL FRAUD

Fixed speed and red light cameras are some of the massive scams in the government's ever-increasing efforts to milk the motoring public. Like police radar traps and unmarked police cars, these cameras are very obviously revenue-raisers and do nothing whatsoever to make the roads safer. This is easy to prove by simple logic. Motorists do not get any indication when they are booked by fixed cameras. The infringement notices can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to arrive. Therefore motorists have nothing to indicate that they should modify their driving practices for the often lengthy time between the actual infringement and the arrival of the infringement notices.

01 June 2012 - Daily Telegraph feedback comment - The Seer wrote: If I hurtle through a speed camera at 210 kph, how does it stop me ploughing into the innocent driver at the end of the street? Answer: It doesn't. It just takes a photo, sends me a fine and raises government revenue. There endeth the argument.

SPEED CAMERAS HAVE NOT REDUCED THE ROAD TOLL

State governments have tried to justify the deployment of speed and red light cameras by stating that they save lives. That is just a blatant lie that is used for those governments to continue their revenue-raising scams. Every year, state governments install more of these insidious cameras, yet the road toll statistics show that they have not reduced road fatalities and accidents at all. In fact, Australian governments budget on receiving over $10 billion in traffic fines each year, money that is relied upon by state treasuries.

State governments have all fabricated the propaganda that 'Speed Kills' and constantly spout this stupid nonsense to justify the deployment of speed cameras. Speed does not kill at all - it is a measurement of velocity. What does kill is motorists who do not drive to the prevailing conditions and who are incompetent or drunk drivers and no speed camera will prevent this. The much-advertised claim that 'Speed Kills' is largely disproven by the fact that nearly all of the million-plus people booked for speeding every year are still alive and were not killed by driving over the speed limit.

Road fatalities have reduced over the years because of the introduction of many safety features in cars, such as airbags, crumple zones, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and many other technological enhancements. These are active measures that actually do save lives, however traffic cameras cannot do anything except snap photos of cars going by. But state governments have been pushing the great lie that those cameras are responsible for saving lives, when it is car technology that is responsible.

In NSW, the road toll per thousand people has not really changed in those years, despite more cameras being installed. In fact, the fatalities in 2008 were virtually the same as the fatalities in 2012, five years later. It was the same in Victoria and Queensland, where the road toll had not reduced in those years. This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that speed and red light cameras only do the one thing that they are capable of doing and that is - snapping photos of motorists in order to fine them, but as far as saving their lives, those cameras are completely incapable of this. That is why state government pretexts that cameras save lives are just a pack of lies.

SPEED CAMERAS DO NOT CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF SPEEDERS

It is easy to prove that fixed speed cameras are nothing more than revenue-raisers and do not deter motorists from speeding. For example, a motorist who is booked driving over the limit by a speed camera may continue at that excessive speed, totally oblivious to the fact that he has been booked and may very well kill a number of people in an accident, well before that infringement notice arrives to indicate that his behaviour was dangerous. The speed camera has not achieved its stated aim to slow him down, but is just there collecting money in fines.

On the other hand, if that very same speeding motorist had spotted a well-marked police car, he would have instantly slowed down and most probably would not have gone on to cause a fatal accident. Think about it. What is the first thing that you do when you are driving and you spot a police car? Yes, that's right. You do what all other motorists do - you look at your speedometer and make sure that you are not speeding. And that is the best way to stop speeding, but of course it doesn't raise any revenue from fines.

Of course state governments, relishing the huge amounts raised by speed cameras, continue to install even more of these insidious devices instead of doing something that will effectively curb the road toll. Those governments could really save lives by reducing the blood-alcohol limit to near zero for drivers and imposing massive fines automatic loss of licence and even jail for transgressors who are caught with any more than a tiny trace of alcohol in their blood.

Governments in all states constantly release statements asserting that speed cameras reduce speeding and dangerous driving. So if this is true, why are there still over 1.3 million people being issued fines for speeding and dangerous driving in Victoria each year, even more than ever before? The same goes for all the other Australian states. Obviously those cameras are not having any effect whatsoever on speeding and dangerous driving, showing that state governments deliberately lie to the people about their alleged effectiveness.

What this really means is that more motorists are being entrapped, mostly for very minor infringements, by means such as automated cameras and police setting up ambushes for them in order to rip them off for the most trivial of infractions and sometimes inventing offences just to fill their booking quotas, knowing that most motorists do not have the means or the knowledge to contest bookings in court.

SPEED CAMERAS CANNOT PREVENT ACCIDENTS

For years, Australian state governments that have been hooked on the revenue from speed cameras have tried to make the case that these devices save lives and prevent accidents. Well, the truth is that speed cameras have not prevented one accident or fatality on any road in the world, simply because they are passive cameras that do nothing more than snap photos and nothing else. Think about it - if you stood on the side of the road taking photographs, would this somehow prevent accidents from occurring? Of course not.

One of the most graphic pieces of proof of this fact came from Victoria. In December 2012, when a speeding BMW on the wrong side of the Princes Highway at Lara ploughed head-on into a Subaru WRX loaded with six young friends returning from a night out in Geelong. Four of the group were killed instantly, along with the female driver of the BMW who had swerved wildly for almost 30 kilometres from Werribee South to Lara before the crash.

The photograph taken of the wreckage was a stark reminder of the dangers of reckless driving, however what is most obvious were the speed cameras mounted on the overpass, not more than a few metres from the site of the accident. The driver of the Subaru would have been well aware that speed cameras were installed on the Princes Highway, as there are signs warning of this, yet none of those cameras prevented - or even could have prevented - this multiple fatality accident. So five people died in this head-on collision right next to some speed cameras that did nothing to prevent this awful disaster.

Victorian Assistant Police Commissioner Jack Blayney stated, ''In terms of road safety, there is very little we can do in these situations. It's just a very, very sad circumstance.'' Sure it's a sad circumstance, but Blayney failed to mention that the speed cameras adjacent to the accident site did absolutely nothing to prevent the accident. Cops never mention these things, because they would highlight the lie about speed cameras being effective in preventing accidents and deaths.

This multiple-fatality accident and many others like it just proves beyond a shadow of doubt that not one speed camera on this planet has ever prevented an accident or fatality on the roads and that is why they should all be removed. They are nothing more than taxation devices that have no bearing on road safety whatsoever. we need to demand that politicians and police produce evidence of one camera that had actually saved one life or prevented one accident.

ANOTHER INSTANCE WHERE SPEED CAMERAS DID NOTHING

The complete uselessness of speed cameras was again demonstrated in Victoria in 2014 with the death of pedestrian Anthony Parsons and husband and wife Savva and Ismini Menelaou, who were passengers in a Ford Falcon struck at the intersection of Warrigal and Dandenong roads in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh.

Brazilian national Nei Lima DaCosta was high on the methamphetamine narcotic Ice and drove through one fixed speed camera at 30 kph over the speed limit, minutes before careering through the intersection of Warrigal and Dandenong Roads at 120 kph (40 kph over the speed limit) through another speed and red light camera. He killed three innocent people. These two cameras did nothing to prevent the slaughter of three innocent people by a drugged-up maniac driver.

If police had spotted this idiot DaCosta, they would have tried to stop him and thus would have probably prevented those deaths. The fact that the Victorian government is pretending to rely on speed cameras to allegedly reduce the road toll, knowing that those cameras cannot do a thing about preventing accidents is a travesty. All state governments are running this traffic camera scam to raise revenue and those devices are completely useless in stopping people being killed.

GOVERNMENTS MANIPULATE LANGUAGE TO FOOL MOTORISTS

An informant working for one of the NSW motoring authorities contacted me with some very interesting information regarding the way that his particular employer, a state government, was manipulating reports of road accidents, in order to make them appear that speed was the factor to blame. The informant stated that he had received an email stating that all traffic accidents had to always be referred to as crashes. This implied that these crashes were deliberately caused. This is what he said:

After studying a number of reports of road accidents, it did become apparent that all communications from government traffic authorities never used the word 'accident' and always referred to a motor accident as a 'crash'. This is a form of subtle brainwashing by the government, in order to indoctrinate the public into believing that all vehicle accidents are somehow deliberate for one reason or another and also to make the public think that the government's revenue-raising policies can somehow prevent accidents.

Of course this is completely illogical. Unless drivers are trying to commit suicide or insurance fraud, all car crashes are accidents, simply because they are not deliberately committed. No normal driver sets out to deliberately smash his car up or to kill himself or his passengers. Whether a driver is responsible or not for a crash is not the point. The point is that the driver did not intend for such a thing to happen, therefore itís an accident. So such government reports of 'crashes' should be taken with a grain of salt, simply because they have been manipulated to infer that people deliberately crashed their vehicles, when this is obviously untrue.

GOVERNMENTS DELIBERATELY RIG CAMERAS FOR INCREASED REVENUE

There has been a deliberate policy of many jurisdictions to increase revenue from red light camera infringements by shortening the amber phase of traffic lights. Instead of the internationally recognised best practice of setting the amber phase to 4 seconds, some governments and councils have deliberately reduced this time to under 3 seconds. This means that drivers who have to make split-second decisions as to whether drive through intersections to avoid a rear-end collision and hope to make it before they are entrapped by red light cameras don't stand any chance of avoiding being booked.

Back around 1992 or so, this is exactly what happened to me in Sydney. I was driving up the hill on Victoria Road Ryde from West Ryde on a rainy day. As I reached the intersection of Victoria Road and Devlin Street, the traffic lights changed to amber. Looking in my rear view mirror, I saw a large truck bearing down towards me, so to avoid a dangerous collision, I slammed my foot on the accelerator and drove through the intersection on the amber light - which changed to red just before I exited the intersection.

When I received the red light camera penalty notice, I decided to contest the matter in court, because I knew that my action in driving through the intersection had prevented a nasty accident. There was no chance of me hitting any cars, as traffic in Devlin Street was still stopped on the red light. Did the magistrate believe me? Of course not - it didn't matter that I took a very safe course of action to prevent a collision that probably would have pushed my car into the paths of cross traffic. No, that magistrate - employed by the NSW state government - was not in the slightest bit interested in matters of safety. He seemed obviously intent on extorting money from me. This incident made me very aware of the value of dual camera dashcams when they became available.

But it shows how this red light camera racket works. In the US city of Chicago Illinois, the city authorities reduced the amber phase of intersections equipped with red light cameras to as low as 2.45 seconds, giving drivers absolutely no hope of driving through an intersection to safety without getting booked. This resulted in a massive increase in revenue for Chicago, but at the cost of a massive increase in accidents, especially rear-end damage and fatalities. The city authorities were dragged to court over this scam Redflex, the company operating the scam was prosecuted and people were jailed.

In 2009 in the city of Corpus Christi in Texas USA, the total number of accidents increased 14% from 310 incidents to 353, at nine locations where red light cameras were stationed. Contrary to the claim that red light cameras reduce the severity of collisions, the number of accidents involving injuries increased 28% from 140 to 179. Rear end collisions also increased by nearly a third from 160 to 208.

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) in a 2004 study documented the effect of reducing the amount of warning given to motorists before an intersection signal changes from green to red. Cutting one second from the yellow time formula endorsed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in 1989 boosts violation income by 110%. Adding one extra second to the 1989 ITE formula slashed violations by 53%.

Furthermore in Georgia, Atlanta's WXIA-TV investigated crash data at several city intersections with red-light cameras. The station found that T-bone collisions increased at five of eight intersections with red light cameras. In 2009, nearly three-quarters of the accidents at one intersection were rear-end collisions. Experts said that this was common at intersections with red light cameras.

"Common sense dictates that if the desired effect of red light cameras is achieved, there will be an increase in rear-end accidents," stated a report released by then-US House Majority Leader Dick Armey. "This is because motorists fearing a ticket will panic and slam on their brakes to avoid entering an intersection. Red light cameras aren't fixing a safety problem, they're creating one."

This insidious practice is prevalent in Australia, with many intersections with red light cameras having their amber phase shortened to the point where state governments are raking in the money from ripping off motorists with this scam. One way to prove that the amber phase was too short is to have a dashcam collecting evidence, so when a red light camera infringement arrives, the motorist can refer to the time and date-stamped video recording of the incident and check to see if the amber phase is too short. If it is, the motorist would have an excellent case to take to court and have the infringement dismissed and possibly even take legal action against the government for fraud.

PROOF THAT INCREASED AMBER PHASE REDUCES ACCIDENTS

There is hard evidence to show that increasing the amber phase of traffic lights results in a markedly lower accident and fatality rate at intersections. In the USA, the state of Georgia passed a law adding an additional second to the amber phase at camera-equipped intersections. Within 6 months, the violation rate went down by a whopping 80%, crashes went down 60% and a few months later the camera companies starting removing their equipment because they couldn't make a profit with properly set traffic signals.

In Australia, red light cameras are operated by state governments, so the chances of them taking any action to reduce revenue from those cameras is next to zero. The NSW government relies so heavily on revenue from infringements, that this money comprises a substantial percentage of the annual budget. Every political party in opposition in NSW and Victoria has slammed these cameras as being revenue-raisers that were ineffective at preventing accidents, but as soon as they won power, they not only changed their stories, but increased the number of these insidious devices. This merely shows that politicians are just a pack of liars who are only interested in how much money they can scam from the public to fill their coffers.

THE REAL FACTS ABOUT FIXED SPEED CAMERAS

Here are the facts. Fatal accidents in NSW halved between 1980 and 1991, which is when speed cameras were introduced. Since then, the decline has faltered with a drop of just 3% since 1993, despite the implementation of double demerit points in 1997 and fixed speed cameras in 1999. The double-demerit scheme which operates over Christmas and other holiday periods has been shown to have had no effect on road fatalities. Speed cameras may even cause accidents because journey times are increased, causing drivers to become frustrated. Drivers may divert to less safe routes to avoid cameras and cameras can distract driver attention, and cause sudden braking.

According to a news report in October 2007, the NSW government grabbed $10 million from speed cameras just on private tollways. The NRMA expressed concern, while Opposition roads spokesman Duncan Gay condemned the system as blatant revenue-raising. "These are dramatically the best roads in the state and the least needing of speed cameras that are deliberately put there for revenue-raising," he said.

But when the Liberal government was elected in 2011, did it do anything about removing those cameras that they constantly complained about? Of course not. Opposition parties in every state make a lot of noise about revenue-raising speed cameras, but as soon as they are elected, their utter hypocrisy is exposed as they fail to act to remove them when they discover how much money those devices rip off motorists.

This sort of hypocrisy from politicians in every state is an utter disgrace and merely proves the truth of the old riddle - Question: How do you know when a politician is lying? Answer: When you see his lips move.

UNDERHANDED WAY THAT RIPS REVENUE FROM MOTORISTS

In May 2014, it was reported that governments in Britain and Australia were installing hidden speed cameras into the Armco crash barriers on the sides of freeways and main roads. This has to be one of the most underhanded and sneaky way to raise revenue by entrapping motorists.

Some websites said that this was a hoax, but the very authoritative Snopes urban legends website that is not often misled stated that these hidden speed cameras do exist. They may not be the actual cameras, but may be laser speed sensors that are linked to speed cameras close to them. In any case, motorists need to be on the alert if they see devices like this implanted into guard rails and other spots and let everybody know where they are. But it is obscene how governments continue to rip us off in every sneaky way possible.

How can a speed camera or speed sensor installed in a guardrail or anywhere else stop anybody from driving past at high speed and having a disastrous accident, possibly killing a number of people? The simple answer is that it cannot do that. Anybody can try this experiment to prove the truth that speed cameras do not prevent accidents. Stand on the side of a road with your camera and take photos. Will that stop any passing cars from possibly having accidents? Of course not.

Governments always use the argument that speed cameras are deterrents to speeding, but that is just a blatant lie. If motorists cannot even see those cameras, how on earth can they be deterred from speeding? Sure, after they get a fine a month after being pinged, they might slow down for a little while, but human nature being what it is, those motorists will forget the fine and start speeding again, being cash cows and raising more revenue for the government. These cameras are an utter disgrace.

RED LIGHT CAMERAS ARE REVENUE-RAISERS AND CAUSE ACCIDENTS

Governments in every Australian state have installed red light cameras at many intersections, claiming that these devices increase safety and prevent accidents and thus reduce the road toll. Whenever politicians are questioned on them, they insist that these gadgets are not there to raise revenue, but to increase safety. Of course this is the greatest pile of utter garbage and provably so.

After many red light cameras were installed in Victoria, David Andreassen of Monash University conducted a 10 year comprehensive study of the effect of these cameras, gathering accident statistics at intersections for 5 years before red light cameras were installed, compared with accident statistics for 5 years after red light cameras were installed at the same intersections. Predictably, this study, the most comprehensive look at red light cameras in the world at the time, found that these devices increased the incidence of accidents and deaths dramatically, totally debunking the claims of politicians who had approved their installation.

Not only that, studies in the USA, UK and Europe came to the same conclusions, that red light cameras increase accidents at intersections. Why are red light cameras being installed at more intersections, when politicians know that they cause more accidents? Very simply, they are a fantastic cash cow for state governments, nothing more than permanent revenue-raisers, placed there at the expense of driver safety.

US CITIES REMOVING RED LIGHT CAMERAS

The most telling evidence that red light cameras cause more problems and accidents than they stop comes from the USA. The City of Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano in California, Cary in North Carolina, Houston Texas and many other cities and municipalities have dumped red light cameras. In 2012, many other places in the USA, such as Jacksonville Florida, had considered the removal of these devices. Even the growing Tea Party, such as the Tri-County Texas Tea Party branch had been agitating to remove the city's red light camera system.

The worst thing is that many red light cameras are not calibrated correctly, causing innocent motorists to be booked for no cause. For instance in New Jersey USA, it was discovered that of its 85 red light cameras, 63 had not been calibrated to make sure the amber light was long enough to comply with state law. That means that a whopping 75% of those red light cameras were defective.

So motorists in New Jersey were being booked wrongly by the thousands, but most would have found this difficult to prove in a court, if it were not for this devastating information to be made public about those defective red light cameras. The amber phase timing has often been brought into question in Australia, where many motorists were booked by red light cameras and believed that they were incorrectly calibrated.

Like speed cameras, red light cameras are an abomination that need to be eradicated for the safety of all motorists. Voters should thrust these studies and statistics at their parliamentary representatives and demand that they act to have speed and red light cameras removed at once, as it is quite obvious from all information about them that they cause more accidents and do not reduce the road toll at all.

VICTORIAN POLICE BELIEVE THAT TRAFFIC CAMERAS ARE REVENUE-RAISERS

A survey taken in 2008 found that more than 70% of Victorian police believe speed and red light cameras are more about revenue-raising than preserving road safety. Out of the 3459 police officers questioned, only 6% (207) strongly agreed speed cameras really do help save lives. Most interestingly though, the main duty of police officers - to serve and protect - is not shared by 42% of the force, who strongly believe that making money for the Government is their main role.

British sociologist and university lecturer Alan Buckingham produced a very informative study called 'Speed Traps: Saving Lives Or Raising Revenue?', that exposed how traffic cameras and police radar traps do not reduce the incidence of road accidents and fatalities. It is a shocking indictment on our government that ignores all the facts in its relentless pursuit to rip money from motorists in every conceivable way.

USE GPS TO AVOID GETTING FINED BY TRAFFIC CAMERAS

There is absolutely no doubt that speed and red light cameras are just another way that the government can wring even more money out of the hapless motorist without justification and it is time that motorists hit back. There is one really good and perfectly legal way to do this and that is, every motorist should use a top-class GPS receiver with a current speed and red light camera database. GPS receivers are getting cheaper every day, with some costing much less than a speeding fine. Even better is to use a smartphone GPS app such as the excellent MetroView that not only provides navigation facilities, but has speed and red light camera warnings, as well as active school zone warnings.

It is very easy for a motorist to disregard speed and red light camera signs because of distractions or concentrating on driving and other matters, but when his GPS receiver or smartphone app issues loud warnings well before he reaches those cameras, then he will be alerted to slow down in plenty of time. The motorist can thus avoid expensive fines and at the same time, deny the rapacious government this iniquitous method of extortion.

NEVER ADMIT TO BEING THE DRIVER OR NOMINATE ANYBODY ELSE

These days, most states require a owner of a vehicle that has been booked by a speed or red light camera to sign a legal declaration that nominates who was the driver of the vehicle at that time. If that car owner refuses to nominate another driver, he is 'deemed' to have been the driver who committed the offence. Of course this is ridiculously unfair and unsustainable, because it demands that the car owner must completely abandon his legal right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate him. However, every citizen has the legal right to refuse to say or do anything that would tend to incriminate him.

So if a car owner refuses to sign such a declaration and also refuses to nominate who was driving his car at the time of an offence, 'deeming' him to be the driver without a shred of evidence to prove, it flies in the face of all common and statute law. Any car owner who receives an infringement that does not specifically identify any person as the driver should simply refuse to sign any declaration or admission that could be used to incriminate him in any way. Furthermore, a car owner should never nominate another person as the driver, because if he was not actually there, he could never be certain that he was nominating the right person. In any case, a car owner should simply refuse to 'rat out' another person on principle.

A car owner is not obliged to assist police in prosecuting him and should never do so. It is entirely up to the prosecution in court to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and a car owner's refusal to incriminate himself does not constitute hard evidence. Therefore in the absence of hard evidence that a particular person committed an offence, any charge against the car owner that cannot positively identify him as the person who actually committed the offence must be dismissed.

So my advice is that if you are booked by a speed or red light camera and receive an infringement notice that does not specifically nominate the driver, just refuse to sign the declaration on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate you and this is your right under the law. You may be threatened with prosecution for refusing to sign such a declaration, but I imagine that no court could convict a person for refusing to incriminate himself, as stated on the Australian Law Commission website.

'Deeming' a person to be the driver of a car simply because he owns the vehicle may sound good to the government and the police, but this does not provide admissible evidence in court. Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence. Therefore every motorist should fight speed and red light camera infringements on that particular point and never ever provide any sort of ammunition for the state to prosecute him, such as signing a declaration that he was the driver.

These 'deeming' laws fly in the face of all recognised legal principles that state that a person is innocent of an offence unless he is proven to be guilty in a court of law. Because traffic offences are criminal offences, the identity of an offender must be clearly established by the prosecution. 'Deeming' a person to have committed an offence merely on the basis that he owns the vehicle that was used to commit the offence simply does not satisfy the burden of proof required to convict anybody.

US COURT SETS IMPORTANT PRECEDENT

State governments in Australia operate their scam camera infringement system by fooling motorists into believing that they somehow have to prove that they are innocent of the allegation that they committed a traffic offence. This is complete nonsense, because a person is always innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction. However this does not seem to deter the infringements scam and most people fall for it. They believe that the infringement notice has some legal validity, whereas it is just a threatening letter.

An interesting precedent was set in August 2015 by the highest court in Missouri, which struck down red light camera and speed camera programs. In three separate cases, the high court judges found that the cameras unconstitutionally shifted the burden of proof by forcing ticket recipients to prove their own innocence. The same principle operates in Australia, where the burden of proof rests completely with the prosecution and an infringement recipient does not have to lift a finger to try and prove his innocence. But Australian state governments still try this stupid and unconstitutional scam and in most cases, they get away with it because motorists are not aware of their legal rights.

The Missouri High Court judges also stated, "Ordinance 66868 requires that a summons and violation notice be sent to the owner of the motor vehicle without any attempt to determine if the owner was the driver. The presumption relieves the prosecution from proving an element of the violation charged beyond a reasonable doubt and is impermissible. Therefore, this court finds ordinance 66868 is unconstitutional because it creates a mandatory rebuttable presumption that shifts the burden of persuasion onto the defendant." And that is exactly how it should work in Australia in all jurisdictions.

So if you ever get an infringement notice, remember that you don't have to do a thing to try and prove that you didn't commit the alleged offence. This role is entirely the responsibility of the prosecution and you should always remind them that you are innocent until you are proven guilty by a court and you have absolutely no obligation to confess to the offence, provide any information as to who was driving your vehicle and you have no obligation to sign affidavits or nominate that you want to be taken to court. It is up to the infringement bureau or police to do this, so never let them intimidate you into relinquishing your legal rights.

NSW CAMERA INFRINGEMENT NOTICES ARE GROSSLY UNFAIR

An examination of the NSW State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) web page called 'Name The Driver Responsible' shows immediately that the implied threats against motorists and vehicle owners are coercive. This is what the web page states:

If you were not in charge of your vehicle at the time of a parking or camera detected offence, you should name the driver on a statutory declaration. All camera, and some parking offences, have demerit points, and by law, you must name the driver for demerit offences.

MY COMMENT: That is absolute nonsense, simply because a person who was not in his vehicle at the time that an infringement was committed could not possibly know who was the driver. Even if the vehicle owner lent his vehicle to another person, that other person may have allowed somebody else to drive the vehicle, therefore the car owner cannot truthfully make any declaration as to who the offender was. In any case, the vehicle owner does not have to provide one scrap of information to the SDRO about anything, as he has the legal right to silence and no stupid laws can remove that right. The problem is that the laws 'Deem' the vehicle owner as the 'Responsible Person' who is automatically declared guilty of the offence. This flies in the face of the principle that a person is innocent unless proven guilty and it should always be argued as violating a long-standing legal right.

If you were in charge of a vehicle involved in a parking or camera detected offence and were not the registered owner, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for completing a statutory declaration naming you as the driver.

MY COMMENT: The vehicle owner cannot be sure who was the driver at the time of the offence, therefore cannot truthfully nominate the driver if he did not actually witness him driving the vehicle at the time of the offence. Furthermore, if a person was in charge of a vehicle involved in a parking or camera detected offence, that person also has the legal right of silence and the legal right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate him. Therefore that person does not have to provide affidavits or statutory declarations in these matters. However, again this is grossly unfair and should be resisted on the grounds that a person has the right to silence and should not be penalised for upholding this right.

Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. Please be warned that the prosecution results for fine and demerit avoidance include fines up to $4,400 and loss of driving privileges for 12 months.

MY COMMENT: This is exactly why a vehicle owner should never provide one scrap of information or make any admissions. A vehicle owner accused of an offence has the legal right to silence and the legal right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate him. If a vehicle owner does not provide such information, he cannot be fined or prosecuted for it.

How do I name the driver if it was not me? - To name the driver complete the Statutory declaration - Individuals form (PDF) form and send it to us. The statutory declaration must be signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or other authorised person. You may need to provide supporting evidence in writing, person or court. If you don't supply the supporting evidence severe penalties apply.

MY COMMENT: The implied threat of penalties is an attempt to apply duress on a vehicle owner, which is unconscionable. A vehicle owner has the legal right to silence and does not have to provide anything that may tend to incriminate him. Furthermore, the vehicle owner cannot truthfully state who was the driver at the time of the offence, as he was not there to witness this. Nobody should ever be intimidated or coerced into providing one scrap of information about themselves or anybody else.

What if I don't name the driver? - If it is a demerit point offence and you don't name the driver before the penalty notice due date, you may receive a further penalty notice for 'Fail to nominate within time frame specified'. If you receive a penalty notice for 'Fail to nominate within time frame specified' you must take one of the options outlined on the notice before the due date. Fines up to $11,000 can apply to 'Fail to nominate' offences.

MY COMMENT: Again, this is grossly unfair. Every person, including a vehicle owner, has the legal right to silence. That means he does not have to make any statements or nominate anybody and he should not be penalised for upholding his legal rights. Furthermore, a vehicle owner who was not present at the time of the alleged offence cannot truthfully identify the driver. These sort of coercive threats are a form of undue duress and nobody should ever succumb to them.

Why is it important I provide the current address of the driver? - If the driver has not updated their address with RMS, or the interstate equivalent, they are unlikely to receive important notices from us that may result in additional costs or enforcement action. They can change your address with RMS by phone on 132-213 or online.

MY COMMENT: A vehicle owner is not responsible for chasing up the address of a person to whom he lent his vehicle and in any case, the vehicle owner cannot truthfully identify the actual driver at the time of the alleged offence. Furthermore, a vehicle owner has the legal right to silence and should not incriminate or 'rat out' anybody else. Most importantly, a vehicle owner has to understand that he does not have to provide one scrap of material to the SDRO or police in relation to such offences, as he has the legal right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate him.
WHAT TO DO WITH A CAMERA INFRINGEMENT NOTICE

It is most important that once you receive a camera-based infringement notice, that you take immediate steps to try to completely negate it.

WARNING - When you get the infringement notice, you will receive an offer for you to ask for a review of the infringement. This sounds tempting, especially if you have not committed a traffic offence for a long time. But BEWARE. If you apply for that review, you have to provide details and those details are a CONFESSION that you committed the offence. So if they knock back your application and you decide to take it to court, then you cannot demand that the prosecution prove that you were the driver, because you ADMITTED it on the review application. So DO NOT ask for that review, no matter how tempting it sounds, because it's a scam to get you to confess to the offence in writing and you have no hope in fighting it in court. So this is what you should do.

  1. Do not be tempted to phone the infringement bureau or police to discuss or argue about this infringement. It is very important that you lay a paper trail of correspondence that you can use as evidence in court. If you phone the infringement bureau or police, the person to whom you speak can deny that he told you anything that you could use to beat the infringement, therefore you must only communicate by writing.

  2. Do not ever be tempted to discuss this infringement with anybody, because you may inadvertently reveal that you or somebody you know was the driver in question. It is surprising how many people make admissions without thinking and those admissions are used against them. The best policy is to always say nothing in regard to the infringement to anybody.

  3. Copy the infringement notice and all other documents that you have received and send the original documents back to the relevant infringement bureau with a covering letter.

  4. State that nowhere on the infringement notice is any evidence that can show that you were the driver of the vehicle at the time, therefore you refuse to accept or pay the infringement.

  5. State that you have the common law right to silence and the common law right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate you, therefore you will refuse to sign any statutory declaration, affidavit or any other document or make any verbal admissions.

  6. State that the Road Traffic Act that 'deems' you to be the driver of a car merely because you are the owner is grossly unfair and removes your legal right to the presumption of innocence.

  7. State that it is unconstitutional to be 'deemed' to have committed an offence that may ultimately carry a jail sentence without being proven to be guilty of the alleged offence beyond reasonable doubt.

  8. State that you are not obliged to nominate another person as the driver of your vehicle, as the nominated person would then be 'deemed' to be the driver of your vehicle without his identity being established beyond reasonable doubt.

  9. If you are a person who was nominated by the vehicle owner as the driver of the vehicle at the time of an alleged offence where your identity could not be established, state that the nominator cannot truthfully testify that you were the driver at the time of the offence because the nominator was not present. Therefore there is still no evidence that you were the driver of the vehicle at the time.

  10. State that although traffic matters are Strict Liability Offences and the principle of 'Mens Rea' does not have to be satisfied, the prosecution still has to satisfy the requirements of 'Actus Reus' because traffic matters are criminal matters. Therefore the prosecution should have to prove every element of its case beyond reasonable doubt, especially the identity of the accused person and 'deeming' somebody to be guilty of an offence without proving that they actually committed the offence does not satisfy the burden of proof required for a conviction.

  11. State that as you have not been convicted of any offence by a duly convened court of law presided by a magistrate, you cannot be penalised for the alleged traffic offence, nor can any demerit points be deducted until you are duly convicted.

  12. Make sure that you object strongly to the infringement notice itself that threatens all sorts of dire consequences unless you comply with directions that violate your legal rights, such as your right to silence and your right to refuse to provide anything that may tend to incriminate you. State that the infringement notice is in fact a demand for money with menaces, which in any other sphere would be a criminal offence itself.

  13. Finally, tell the infringement bureau that if they think that they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed an offence, then they are required to follow due legal process and place the matter before a competent court, rather than send out threats demanding money with menaces prior to any conviction being recorded. Then demand that they withdraw the infringement notice.

So this is what you should do if you are every booked by a speed or red light camera or in any circumstance where you receive an infringement notice without being identified. Fight it all the way, because unless the prosecution can identify you as the driver BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT - they are the operative words - then they have no case, despite the stupid and unsustainable 'deeming' laws. Unfortunately, the states have instituted this 'Deeming' policy that violates the legal and civil rights of people and declares them guilty without any evidence and this even violates the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia is a signatory.

COURT COSTS ON PENALTIES

Any day of the week, you can go to any court and see magistrates upholding traffic infringements and then on top of the actual fines, they impose costs. However, according to a federal law, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act 1986, this is clearly illegal, as follows.

So there it is in black and white. If you are convicted of any offence, whether it be speeding, littering or any other offence, this federal act states beyond any ambiguity that any costs added to the original penalty are unlawful. If you find yourself in the position of losing a court challenge and the magistrate imposes costs against you, just produce the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act 1986 with Article 15 of the Covenant On Civil and Political Rights and tell the magistrate that the imposition of any costs is unlawful under a federal law that overrides all state laws.

FREE CAMERA DATABASES FOR GPS RECEIVERS

There are a number of websites that offer free frequently updated fixed speed and red light camera databases, as well as many other useful point-of-interest databases. It is most advisable for GPS owners to frequently download and install the latest speed camera databases to protect themselves against being robbed by these cameras. If every motorist did this, the cameras would become totally useless.

However, smartphone-based GPS applications such as MetroView update their map and camera data automatically, so that takes the effort out of ensuring that motorists have the latest speed camera data installed and this is why smartphone GPS applications are far more cost-effective than standalone GPS receivers. As well, motorists will have their smartphones with them all the time, so the GPS can be used in other vehicles or when walking.

GPS receivers are already fairly inexpensive and getting cheaper by the day, although the best ones still cost over $300. However, smartphones with GPS applications that are very cheap are a better alternative. Nevertheless, for reasons of convenience, safety and saving money by avoiding being booked by speed cameras, using a good GPS receiver with camera warnings while driving will prove most valuable and no motorist should ever drive without one of these devices operating.

GET A TOP-LINE GPS-EQUIPPED DUAL CAMERA DASHCAM

Even more importantly, every motorist should be armed with a top-class GPS-equipped dual camera dashcam, such as the excellent Transcend Drive Pro 550B. This dashcam will record time and date-stamped video with GPS speed and location data that can be displayed on a Google Map. This dashcam uses the same GPS data as the military, commercial aircraft and police, so its accuracy cannot come into question. Evidence from this dashcam will easily prove the motorist's speed at a location, thus destroying any wrongful speeding ticket.

Such a dashcam is the best one-off insurance policy that a motorist can have. It will also record the interior of the vehicle, proving that the driver was wearing a seat belt and not holding a mobile phone while driving, thus eradicating any false accusations of these offences. And it will be most valuable in proving who was at fault in a collision and also provide hard evidence in matters of road rage. Contact me if you want to know more about these dashcams and where to get them at the right price and for any other information.