Motorists come up to speed
By HANNAH ROSS firstname.lastname@example.org MOTORISTS working to overturn fines from the speed camera at St Helena are pinning their hopes on a legal argument they believe won the day in Mullumbimby court recently.
Byron Bay travel consultant Bryce Houston is contesting three fines from the camera.
Mr Houston is part of a team of about 20 drivers questioning the legality of the St Helena camera.
The team is trying to track down two defendants and their lawyers who are believed to have had their fines overturned after presenting to the court arguments compiled by Sydney speed camera consultant Scott Cooper.
Mr Cooper told The Northern Star recently the camera at St Helena breached the New South Wales Government's own guidelines.
He said the camera's location at the bottom of a hill and in a temporary roadworks zone were the main factors breaching the guidelines.
Mr Houston said while scores of drivers were fronting up on a weekly basis to Mullumbimby Local Court to challenge their fines, most were being advised by their solicitors to plead guilty and request leniency.
"If we can find a legal precedent has been set to successfully challenge these fines, we may be able to take a short cut through the legal process," Mr Houston said.
He said the group of locals fighting their fines were also working to get hold of a Roads and Traffic Authority operations manual for the St Helena camera.
He said the manual would reveal the inner workings of the camera and could help prove the camera was misreading the speed of cars.
He said one driver pulling a trailer at a speed under 60km/h received a ticket for doing over 90km/h. Mr Houston said the noise created by the trailer could have impacted on the reading.
The Northern Star was unable to contact staff at Mullumbimby Local Court yesterday to find out details of cases already heard relating to fines issued by the St Helena speed camera.