Ex-cop to contest speeding fine
By HELEN JACK firstname.lastname@example.org FORMER policeman John Crowther is preparing to fight in court a speeding infringement notice he received in the mail last week.
Mr Crowther, of Lismore, disputes the accuracy of the notice, saying the description of where the alleged offence took place does not make sense.
He also wants to challenge the concept of a camera and a computer allocation of fines.
"I'm an ex-copper and have written many speeding tickets in my time. I believe the only way we can reduce driving offences is by having a visible police presence on our roads, with police looking the driver in the eye when they write the ticket," said Mr Crowther, 55, of East Lismore.
"Speed cameras are a great way to raise revenue and cost bugger-all to run. Lots of people just pay the fine and won't take it to court."
Mr Crowther said he had received a penalty notice dated January 10, 2008, for a speeding offence at 2.01pm on November 28 last year.
But he is puzzled by the description on the notice of the location of his alleged offence being on the Bruxner Highway between Elliot Road and Rifle Range Road at Wollongbar.
The notice also describes Mr Crowther as travelling in an easterly direction at a speed of 70km/h in a 60km/h zone. Mr Crowther said he believed he was travelling west at that time of the day, returning home after a doctor's appointment in Ballina.
"There is no 60km/h zone in Wollongbar, end of argument," he said.
Mr Crowther said the only fixed speed camera in that area was an 80km/h speed camera on the Bruxner Highway near McLeans Ridges Road.
Lismore Highway Patrol Senior Constable Peter Kirk said that according to the description on the notice, the speed measuring device would have been in a highway patrol car and not a fixed camera.
But Mr Crowther said it did not make any difference and he was still going to court.
"The description is too indistinct," he said. "If the offence happened in Lismore then the notice should say Lismore and not Wollongbar, and I was travelling west and not east.
"I have to take something like that to court, the interpretation is too wide."