Thursday, 12 March 2009

Point-to-point speeding offences

Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court started dealing with point-to-point or average-speed speeding offences late last year, and will continue to do most of them (along with Seymour), because the point-to-point cameras are on the Hume Highway.

The offence is committed against Rule 20 of the Road Rules. (That means the prosecution must prove how the speed limit was established as prescribed in Rules 21 – 25: DPP v Juchnowski [2008] VSC 181; Ciorra v Cole (2004) 150 A Crim R 189.)

You can download the Road Rules from VicRoads (individual chapters) or from the Government Gazette (full version).

Average-speed offences are proved by certificate under the Road Safety Act 1986 s 78. They're actually quite straightforward. All they require is tender of:

  1. Proof of speed: s 78
  2. Proof of road distance — certificate — prescribed form: s 78A(1)
  3. Proof of these matters without calling oral evidence:
    1. (a) Speed: s 83A certificate
        i. Printed image: s 83A(1)(b)
        ii. Message by prescribed process: s 83A(1)(b). Proves time at first point, and then at second point. Total time established by subtracting one from the other
        iii. Calculation prescribed: Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999 reg 313A
      (b) Vehicle registration — printed image: s 83A(1)(b)
  4. Driver identity: Road Safety Act 1986 s 66 & 84BC (operator onus). Effective user statement and other provisions in Part 6AA apply as for any operator-onus offence.

All these certificates are proof in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

The phrase “to the contrary” means “to the opposite effect”. In my view, to be evidence to the contrary the evidence must at least be accepted by the tribunal of fact as having some weight: DPP v Cummings (2006) 46 MVR 84; [2006] VSC 327 at [35] per Kellam J.

Note though the certificates are not conclusive proof — merely proof.

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