VIC Infringement Notices - Any experiences?

Ok, I just relocated to Melbourne from Perth. In my first week, I rented a car and went to South Melbourne dealership on a weekend to view a car. 2 weeks later my rental car company sent me emails with infringement fees. I called and checked and realised I got two infringement notices coming up (red light and speeding camera).

I have never gotten any infringement before (15 years of driving), just relocated to Melbourne.

The infringements (from the rental company) seems to come from a "1 second red light" and at a speed of 58km/h in a 40km/h zone (I think there is a 3km/h discount or some sort). Camera location is at Flinders Street, and reports did mention that camera netted a healthy $3 million over 27 days period!

I found on (http://www.camerassavelives.vic.gov.au/home/fines+and+penalt...) the payable amount are:
- "Failing to obey traffic lights, both red-light and red-light arrow, incurs a penalty of $369 and three demerit points."
- Between 10 km/h–24 km/h, fine amount is $295 and 3 demerit points

Total payable is $664 and 6 demerit points. And plus another $38.50 for each infringement fee coming from rental company, which brings the total to $741. It seems that the demerit points will stay on record for three years!

Did you have similar experiences? Apart from internal review, did you explore any other options? What are your "exceptional circumstances", is good past driving behaviour qualify as a "special circumstances"? The VIC Police website mentioned the process for internal review (https://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?document_id=10369) but I dont think I qualify under the "10km/h to 14km/h" speed limit by 1km/h!

I am at a loss, panic stricken unfortunately. Apart from having to live with six demerit points for three years (tarnished record), $700+ over dollars can and will go a long way to purchasing some furniture for a bare house that doesnt even have any chairs to sit on =(

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Comments

    • +1

      I think the whole Melbourne CBD is 40km/h speed limit.

      • +2

        yes your right.
        sure to be adequately signed….no excuse

  • +1

    I found a template letter online and filled in the blanks.
    Red light fine cancelled and replaced with an official warning.
    More recently I had my $385 fine for parking in a clearway refunded in full.

    In your case you have two fines, which might be harder to get out of than one.

    • +2

      In Victoria?

      I'd love to see the templates if you don't mind sharing.

    • I don't know how you got away with the red light. No one ever has been able to get a red light waived unless it was exceptional - like heart attack or rushing wife in labour to hospital or got back reared by the car behind and your car pushed forward past the line. So tell us how you got away with a red light offence?

      • You are correct, it wasn't red light camera. It was a fixed camera speeding fine at an intersection in St Kilda. I was doing 47km/hour in a 40km/hour zone and it catches alot of people.

  • +1

    I just did that. Got a speeding fine (none in last 8 years) in St Kilda. Filled the internal review form (exceptional circumstances), wrote a letter acknowledging the speeding but also reminding my good driving record and apologising asking politely to withdraw the notice. Dropped the letter in a box at the civic complaints office beside the Flagstaff station.
    Got a withdrawal notice and a official warning in a weeks time.
    http://online.fines.vic.gov.au/fines/Content.aspx?page=37&s=...

  • +3

    For those arguing that cameras are to keep people safe. I drive for a living in NSW and in the past 2 years i have seen 3 speed cameras getting removed. These are at areas that normally get accidents, big road 70km/h and curvy road 60km/h. So could someone please explain their intention in removing the cameras? Is it because the accidents rate there seems to have reduced?

    • +2

      Probably cost more to maintain than it generates in revenue.

    • Maybe they decided it was reduced and not bringing in lucrative money so they planted them elsewhere….

    • +1

      Perhaps accidents have increased …… disproving speeding cameras work to reduce road toll , so they took it away.

  • +2

    There is a camera on the corner of Victoria st and rathdowne st in Carlton and that thing used to go off like a strobe light in a disco.
    As the cars were going away from the city and onto rathdowne street they would speed up and try to go 60km/h but the 60 zone doesn't start till after the cameras.
    They finally changed rathdowne street to 40km/h zone so it's not so bad now.
    I also think the speed should be 50km/h.
    Although I find that I rarely get up to 40 anyway when I'm in the city.
    I think cameras in the city with 40 zones are pure revenue.

    • +1

      Agreed 50 is more sensible.

  • +1

    From memory the intersection of kings way and Flinders is camera-ed and all roads in CBD are 40ks now.

    One sympathises though it's an abrupt change. Got pinged there recently and found out my rego had expired when I got a 200 buck fine for speeding and 800 buck for no rego. :( Then I had to get a roadworthy and new rego all at the same time.

    Kids went hungry that month.

  • When someone receives a infringement for their vehicle but they weren't driving, doesn't the owner fill out details on the form to who the actual driver was? Then the infringement is resent out in the drivers name.
    How can you trust the rental company?

    • You can request for the photo to be sent to you, from there, obviously match it up with the car/time and whether you committed the infringement. In most cases, they do get it right.

  • +1

    Actually a study was done on speed limits in general which found that posting up a speed limit sign actually causes the fatalities and danger. Go google it the study was done in Montana which has a huge crash fatality rate. They removed all the speed limits and crashes were less than half of what they were before as most drove at a speed they were comfortable with

  • The rental company is meant to 'nominate' you as the actually driver, then the fine will be re-issued in your name.
    If you want to contest it, it has to be in YOUR name, they won't actually even speak to you on the phone if you call about a fine in another person's name.

    Also, you have the option of paying off fines in installments, another thing that can only be arranged once the fine is in your name.

  • +2

    While you aren't eligible for an official caution (< 10km), it probably wouldn't hurt to write in and ask for a review anyway.

    Basically give them prove you've lived interstate for your whole life (photocopy of rental statement or something), and proof that you have not received any fines in 15 years in your previous state (should be able to get a letter stating this, although it might cost an admin fee). Also a possible photocopy of your Perth license.

    And due to your circumstances they may revoke one or both of your fines.

    Basically letter should say:
    - lived in Perth all your life
    - 15 year clean driving record
    - Just moved to Melbourne within a week of getting the fine
    - Basically say while you did offend, it was your unfamiliarity with the state and the CBD area that caused you to accidentally believe it was a 60 zone.

    And might be a slight change of them changing their mind.

    Spending a few hours chasing documents and writing a letter is well worth the chance of reducing the fine and/or demerit points.

    • Why? Speed signs are the same everywhere around Australia.

      • Familiarity with the road is different however.

        • A city is a city, you be careful everywhere you drive, and pay attention.

  • +1

    I don't drive in Victoria anymore when I visit it because of its crazy obsession with driving "exceeding the limit".

    A few years back my family and I were travelling in a Holden Colorado ute in bumper to bumper traffic on the Great Ocean Road. The posted limit was 60kph. The traffic, most of it rubber neckers like us, was probably moving at less than that. I was also acutely aware that Victoria had gone apeshit about speed limits.

    So imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks later I get an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit by no more than 9kph. Apparently I was pinged by Constable Plod, who had been hiding in the bushes with his camera.

    I talked to a friend in Vic who knew about such things. He said "get the pretty picture" and the actual amount I exceeded the limit by.

    I did- I was pinged at THREE K over!!?? And looking at the picture, it was clear that the traffic in front of me had opened up because I had probably been rubber necking too much and slowed down substantially. I remember the horn honking behind me. So my infringement was largely due to that I had accelerated to catch up with the traffic and avoid annoying those behind me too much.

    I wrote letters to the tourism ministries, the premier, the police minister explaining the above. More politely, of course, and to point out that Victoria would now be lower down the scale of our favoured holiday destinations.

    They waved the fine and demerit points, but the offence stood.

  • welcome to melbourne, the strictest road laws in the country

    good luck trying to have your fine reduced lol

  • +4

    Victoria - The Place To Be FINED.

  • Yeah, i've been pinged there too. lucky it was only 14 k's over and my 1st offence. yay internal review!

    If memory serves, you can pay off the fine in installments, so you'll still have money for furniture, just not getting lobster every night.

  • -2

    When I was in Melbourne down from Sydney I got done doing 110 in a 100 zone. I wrote a sob story letter about how I didn't realise what the speed limit was and how I was a poor uni student and blah blah blah and they let me off haha.

    Just write a sob story about never driving in Melbourne before and that you're really sorry and you didn't realise. I wrote mine on a unlined, blank A4 piece of paper so my writing was really terrible. I felt it notched up the sympathy factor a lot.

  • I'm honestly surprised that you got the ticket in a rental car.

    Years ago I rented a car through Europcar and stupidly went through a set of traffic lights late, I saw the red light camera go off.

    Upon returning the car I alerted the staff to the possibility that I got a ticket and provided them with my home address. When I got home I also sent an email to head office outlining what had happened.

    After that there was a really comical bouncing around of the email between different areas within Europcar, each person unsure if what to do. Eventually they just explained that they usually just take the fine themselves because it's too hard to get the drivers to do it.

    Needless to say, I never recieved the ticket, if it were issued at all.

    As for general advice, give the appeal system a shot, they may waive the fine at first instance due to you being from out if town and having a clean record. Just be nice and explain what happened. It's a long shot however, as you have two fines.

    • +3

      The law in Victoria changed last year. If a vehicle
      is registered in a company name the fine is $3000 unless a driver is nominated. This would be why the rental company will be passing it on now.

  • +2

    Welcome to Victoria.
    The Police State.

    • My sentiments exactly.

    • This should be our new number plate slogan: Victoria - State of The Union.

  • +1

    I got a fine nearly a year ago today right near the same spot in Melbourne (same camera probably). Here's the letter I used to get my fine downgraded to a warning, though I think it might not slide as well considering you were doing 10km over the limit (I was just under).

    As for your red light run, suck it.


    Dear Officer in Charge,

    I am writing in relation to traffic offence {#number} committed at {time} on the {date}.

    I accept that at no time speeding is safe. In this case due to my heightened sense of confusion and unfamiliarity of the updated outer CBD zones, I drifted marginally over the speed limit for a short period of time. Ignorance is never an excuse but I have taken extra effort to modify my behaviour by paying more attention, specifically to my speed, in such circumstances.

    Given my good driving record and the margin of my alleged speed I would like to request a warning for this infringement.

    Regards,
    • +1

      This is a good starting point. I have also ran foul in poor weather, with poorly placed signs, and in unfamiliar territory. I missed the change of speed sign from 80 to 60 (Obscured by another vicroad sign which they have since removed)so was doing 75 in a 60 zone. I wrote a letter, they asked for a printout from my home state (NSW) re: my driving record. In Victoria, apparently three years without a ticket is viewed favourably. In NSW it is 10 years. I also wrote a letter missing a school sign of 40 when I was doing 65km/h. I though he pulled me over for a 5 k infringement. Imagine my shock when he explained , no, you aren't 5 km/h over, you are 25 km/h over. Both times (with over 10 years without infringing) they released me with a warning. Hope this helps.

      • I think you used up your luck of winning a Powerball mate.

  • +2

    Thanks all for the valuable experience, comments and advice. I think majority of the folks here are polite, logical and positive minded people that don't wear any judgmental glasses. Cant say that applies to the odd trolls, but thanks again for those who contributed to the topic positively =)

    • Do you have a Victorian drivers licence?

      They sometimes don't flow up interstate fines etc.

      • just changed to VIC licence

  • +1

    Dang, welcome to Melbourne - the city of the revenue raising Police and Government.

    Edit: the police, when they are told to enforce stupid speed limits like the 40km zones everywhere… So stupid.

    Sorry about the extra $600 tax contribution to the Andrew's Slush fund.

    • +3

      Were going to need every cent we can get over the next 4 years!

      • +2

        We have to pay the $700 million to the company NOT to build the east-west link somehow. Thank you OP for your contribution in bailing out our incompetent state government

        2 offences - sorry but you have a better chance at winning lotto than getting out of 2 fines

        • +1

          Let's not forget he's also in the back pockets of the union.

          Bloody socialist

      • +1

        All $600 million the moron wasted…

        • +1

          Versus the $6+ BILLION it would have cost for a road we don't need.

        • @Drew22:

          Yeah linking of major freeways are never a good idea. to create a full connections are bad. Let's instead take a freeway down to a one lane Road past the zoo… Right?

        • @diddy50:

          Past the zoo sounds like a really pleasant commute.

        • +1

          If only "where we're going we don't need roads" was true!
          For some reason the union bosses changed their minds and magically it became true, so the puppet string were pulled, and here we are…

        • @Drew22: haha if only! never had to commute or travel that way obviously

      • We're - autocorrect…

    • -1

      That $600 is going to pay for all sketchy under the table Liberal deals.

      • Last I saw Labor was in power making dodgy deals with their union thugs…

  • You haven't got a chance, this state is a joke. It's insane - just accept it, relent and NEVER EVER EVER EVER make a mistake on the road here, infact you should drive so carefully you're paranoid and distracted about it.

  • Is this video the reason why you left sunny Perth?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo9Dgu9qwg0

  • Hm, do you still have your Western Australian licence? You could put it on that and then they can't deduct any points off you. You'd still have to pay the fines though.

    I know someone who drives in QLD with NSW licence, many fines in QLD, but he just recently asked the RTA (licence coming up for renewal and he's eligible for the "safe driver 50% discount off licence fee" for having no points deducted in the last 5 years.

  • State you have a good past driving record so just send a letter stating you were at fault but as your new to the area made a lapse in judgement .

    Either they will forgive the fine or they wont simple.

  • been paying these for years :'(

  • +2

    I got infringment notice once for running a red light by 1 second.. I did try to challenge it on the base that I have clean record (good driver) but in the end I lose and have to pay $369.
    they reason is that running a red light is a serious matter and could be fatal even just for a second.

    One thing you can do is ask for payment extension. they can give you up to 3 months, so you have time to put some money aside week by week

  • I can't believe how many people have sipped the koolaid in regards to cameras on the road. They are revenue raising plain and simple, if you think otherwise you watch too much today tonight and ACA.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BKdbxX1pDw

    • +2

      Definitely agree there - there's a major conflict of interest in the way these cameras are setup and where the revenue goes. If anything near that level of of conflict of interest existed in a corporation outside of the government, the person in control would already have been locked up in jail and the key thrown away!

      Yet, we sit here blindly allowing the government to continue with this…..

  • +1

    Op I understand your feeling and share sympathy for you, but i don't think you stand a chance. The governments are in poverty and now totally money suckers. They won't let go any chance to empty your pockets. Let alone you did do wrong. If I were you I would just pay the fine and enjoy my life. All those stress and panic are totally unnecessary. Good luck.

  • +1

    Definitely write a letter and contest it, if it fails, then ask for a payment plan. I paid $50 a month over a $500 fine when I was 21. Didn't feel like financial punishment… Can't help you with the demerits though.

  • +1

    apart from viewing the pic go and time the orange/red change time.

    it may be malfunctioning with a very short change time:who knows unless you check it.

    far better plea if you could prove the change time was a second or two faster than any other light.

    If all is correct no way would I contest the red light charge…just accept it and make a plea on the speed only BUT you were way over.

  • +1

    worth a read iv been let off twice for speeding using this
    http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10369

    • Twice?

      So does that mean on 2 occasions over 4 years?

      • Yes two separate occasions both times under 10ks (59) in a 50 zone.

        • +1

          Great news, good to hear the official warning system's working.

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