Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pedal To The Metal

By PS

How a simple speeding ticket turned into a full blown fiasco

While I was at work one night, I finished ten minutes later than I should have knocked off. I was supposed to have finished at 2:30am while I was working at Star City Casino here in Sydney, but it got busy so I decided to stay to help out.

After finishing work, I left for home and it seemed like any other night as I went through the same routine at work and going home. I travel about 45 minutes to an hour to and from work, covering up to 60 kilometers round trip. Since I got my license back after having lost it for three years, I drive around like I’m racing everyone and treat every other vehicle like obstacles in my way. Although these days I take it a little easier, I’m still rushing around to get to where I want to go.

Anyway, I was halfway home and by now the time was 3:10am. It was a winding highway with three lanes, passing through a suburban shopping district. I had noticed that the traffic was traveling pretty slow close together. From my memory, I passed about six other cars, which I didn’t take much notice of. As I continued along the road I checked my rear view mirror and saw a car fast approaching. I then pulled into the middle lane and slowed up behind another vehicle. At this time the other vehicle was about 10 meters away and gaining.

I then took the third lane of the highway and sat there traveling at a speed of 65 kph. After I changed lanes, so did the vehicle behind me. I was thinking at the time, “Who is this asshole that wants to race me?” So after being tailgated for a few meters, I decided to accelerate and overtake the car on my left-hand side so the car behind me could pass.

Guess what? Just as I did accelerate the asshole on my left thought I wanted to race him or something and he tried to speed up. I signaled for that driver to allow me to get into his lane, which he did. Right after the vehicle behind me started to flash its red and blue lights at me.

I pulled over and wound down my window. A police officer approached and told me I was driving at 96 kph and asked why was I driving so fast for. I just told him I was going home. He then took my license back to his vehicle and his partner breath tested me. The first officer returned with my license and an infringement notice stating that I was speeding at 96 kph in a 60 kph speed zone.

I then asked him again how fast I was going just to make sure if he was right. He said I was observed doing 96 kph and that they had followed me for ¾ of a kilometer. I then asked him to show me his readings on the device he was using. He stated that he had sent it away. I left it at that and drove off speeding at 80 kph. Of course I was pissed off as this wasn’t the first time I had a run in with the law.

First of all, I could have argued with him there and then that he didn’t even follow me at the distance required by law to fine me for the speeding offence. Secondly, he stated that he observed and probably wasn’t even using a speed detection device. Thirdly, I wasn’t even driving at a constant speed of the 96 kph as he stated.

So I spent about a week researching police radar and lasers and how they work. I highly recommend that if you drive, to take sometime looking up speed traps and http://www.nma.com on a search engine. You’ll find a whole lot of information that will help you drive/speed more safely and how to avoid being caught. There is also information on how to take the police to court to have your fines dismissed as well.

As for me, my problems didn’t end there. I sent a letter to the infringement notice bureau to ask them for more time to prepare myself for court and to seek legal information. Also, the more time that you gain from not paying your fine or appearing in court, the more likely the officers involved are likely to forget who you are and what happened at the time.

I then went to court for the first time and pleaded not guilty. The judge then adjourned my case for a later date so I could seek further legal advice or a representative. I was then referred to an ex-police office turned lawyer, someone who I thought I could trust. But even he was telling me that it was hard to prove my case and left the decision with me to go ahead with it. So he organized this skinny ass barrister to take my case. I met up with the barrister a few days later to discuss my situation. He then took some notes and told me he would see me there on the day at court.

Here’s what happened next. About half an hour later he came out and told me that the police officers involved wanted to negotiate with me for a guilty plea on a lesser charge. I then thought about it and said okay because I knew that I had been speeding only very little. The barrister then left me outside and went into the courthouse to tell the police officers.

When I did get called in for my case we went into the courthouse and the officers approached my barrister and they said okay to my agreement that I would plead guilty to a lesser charge. Now if you check out the last paragraph, my barrister said that the officers wanted to negotiate with us, not my barrister wanting to negotiate with them for me. This was bullshit! I could have knocked my barrister over the head for crossing me like that!

We walked into the courtroom and the police prosecutor looked at me and smirked after he was told that I would be pleading guilty. My barrister then proceeded to give the judge my details, while he was reading over the charges for my case.

The judge thanked me for not taking up their time and pleading guilty to my charge for speeding. It was over in about 20 minutes and everything I wanted to happen never did. I left the courthouse with my barrister and I asked him did I just get convicted. He said yes, thanked me, and walked away. I should have whooped his white ass.

Now after all this, I’ve figured out never trust any of these so-called legal professionals who don’t deal in specific traffic matters.

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