Police Officer Falsely Accused Me of Not Wearing a Seatbelt - Why You Must Have a Dash Cam

Hello, here is something peculiar that happened to me today (Vic)

I am driving in my town on the way home when a police car follows me then pulls me over, the police officer then asks me why I wasn't wearing my seatbelt and I was very surprised since I always make sure to wear one since a long time ago I didn't and I got a fine for it.

So I tell him that I was wearing it and then he says he doesn't believe me, I then ask if his car has a video camera in it and he says that it does so I mention that if he checked it he could verify that I was wearing a seatbelt. He then says he won't because he doesn't believe me and questions if I think that he is lying, I don't accuse him of lying because that would trigger him so I just say that I was wearing my seat belt. After a little while he goes back to his car and then decides to let me off, I then thank him for that and suggest that maybe some reflective material on my belt would prevent such issues in the future, he then just says or you could wear your seatbelt.

So I continue on my way and park in front of my house, I then see that same police car thrash the crap out of his car accelerating on a quite street, he wasn't chasing anyone and it was a narrow street, this is dangerous driving.

Anyway the whole point of the story is that if the police officer decided to charge me, I would had have no proof that I was innocent, I am, also pretty sure that the officer was pointing a video camera at me but I'm not sure. This is why you must have a dash cam, the more the better.

Comments

  • +96 votes

    If you had a dash cam, surely it would be pointing forward and wouldn't show you wearing a seatbelt.

    • +139 votes

      This is why you must have a dash cam, the more the better.

      Front face, rear facing, in car, in bonnet, upskirt, in boot, facing cupholder…

    • +7 votes

      you may not need evidence to support you were wearing a seatbelt 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.. just enough to prove you were wearing one 'on the balance of probability'.

      so the footage, being absent of any seatbelt activity sounds, may be a win.

      if it wasn't accepted, you could appeal or get a 3rd party specialist to determine the audio is unadulterated and contains no seatbelt sounds.

      if needed.. this could be coupled with bodycam/dashcam footage from the officer.. and if that can't be supplied then there may be no case.

      a few years back I had a roid-raging qld cop.
      he kept trying to make me say (out loud to his mic?) that i wasn't wearing it and then he would let me off. yeah.. right.

      I spent ages arguing that i did have my seatbelt on..
      that I knew he had no evidence to support that i didn't..
      and that i would go to court over it etc.

      he was really unprofessional.
      just an absolute awful human being.
      he was looking around my dash for a camera at one point.
      (it was clear to me he knew he was being an Rsole)

      eventually he gave up and went off to bother someone else with his personality disorder.

      i have a camera now.. and it's saved me big time already.
      gonna get another one for the cockpit soon to show seatbelts/indicators/no phone use etc..
      I think it's more important than a rear camera.

      • +6 votes

        Also consider that you could get hit on the side and its not like these cameras are expensive.

        I think that the role of police officer attracts some people who want to feel like they have power over others but even that is false because the individual police officer really has no power, rather they are acting on behalf of the government and doing their bidding. I have met some nice cops though but some of them have anger issues.

        I have noticed that whenever I am speaking with a cop they will use sneaky ways to get you to admit wrongdoing such as asking why you did such and such, this cop that pulled me over was pretty old so I think his eyesight wasn't that good.

        As for the comments saying that I am a troll, well that is the sort of thing I would expect from whirlpool, I consider ozbargain to have a more respectable membership as I have viewed this site for a couple of years.

        • -27 votes

          So I continue on my way and park in front of my house, I then see that same police car thrash the crap out of his car accelerating on a quite street, he wasn't chasing anyone and it was a narrow street, this is dangerous driving.

          less respectable because people don't believe your sensationalist story?
          this is the pasrt where the story goes into Troll territory

          sneaky ways to get you to admit wrongdoing such as asking why you did such and such

          OTOH, this part alone is worth its own thread :)

        • -5 votes

          I think that the role of police officer attracts some people who want to feel like they have power over others

          I doubt it, they have to risk their lives every day for very little pay, then tet disrespected for just doing their job. Hardly something you would go into just to have some kind of authority or "power".

          have met some nice cops though but some of them have anger issues.

          Think about what they have to deal with in the course of their position as police officers. They have to witness some of the most horrible things,on a regular basis. Accidents involving death (including car accidents with deceased kids) . Domestic violence. Regularly getting threatened and attacked both physically and verbally. Think about it, many people would have issues after all of that… Police officers and also our military personnel do not get enough support for what they go through. Many end up with PTSD . Think about how you would be, having to attend car accident with dead kids regularly, having people attempt to assault you and even trying to kill you, having to attend circumstances where women have been bashed, where kids have been raped . Do you really you would be totally fine with that, and that you would always be able to keep yoir cool ?
          Police are just human. They are essential, and should be shown respect for what they do for us all (exception being corrupt cops that help crims, but they are not real cops, and they are few and far between).
          Much more support and counseling needs to be provided to police officers and military personal, with what they have to go through, to keep all of us safe from harm and anarchy.

      • -2 votes

        Traffic offences are strict liability - there is no standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities).

        •  

          I don't know what your sentence means. Beyond reasonable doubt is the burden of proof for the prosecution for traffic matters. What are your trying to say?

          •  

            @Peace Maker: Even though driving offences no matter how small are "criminal acts" … the driving offences are strict liability …. what this means is if you are seen doing the "act" eg not wearing a seat belt OR driving higher than the speed limit, there is an automatic proof/guilt that you had "intention" to break the law.

            Thus, if you have actus rea + mens rea = guilt

          •  

            @Peace Maker: You have no idea what you're talking about. "Beyond reasonable doubt" is a standard of proof, not a burden of proof.

            As I said earlier, traffic offences are strict liability offences. DrunkOnTheGoodLife is mostly correct. Strict liability offences only require actus reus ("the guilty act") to be proven. The mens rea (the intention to do the act) is not required to be proven. So if you're going 70 in a 60 zone, the police prosecutor does not need to prove you had any intention of speeding.

            A quick Google search of "strict liability offence" could've given you an answer faster than typing your previous comment and complaining you don't understand what others are talking about.

            •  

              @victorwilson: You are correct, not sure why the downvotes.

              It also means for example that your speedo reading incorrectly (say 60 when it should be saying 70) is no defence - you were still going 70 and thats all that matters.

    • +14 votes

      Dashcam would record the sound of the seatbelt reminder chime going nuts in the background

      • +5 votes

        Not if your car is a 10+ year old shit box

        • +1 vote

          Or if you have modded that sh&^ out of your car :)

          • +2 votes

            @greydaniel: Or if you did the seatbelt up behind your back like a normal person trying to stop the chime.

            So any car with a MY < 2008 is a shitbox now?

            My 1994 Nissan Ute has a seatbelt unfastened warning light on the instrument cluster, but whether it turns on or not depends on what the electrics feel like doing on a given day.

    •  

      It would pickup sounds of the seatbelt clicking/unclicking unless purpopsly doing it quietly.

      So say if OP was not wearing it and lied (Not saying you are) and put it on while being pulled over the dash cam would pick up the sound of that. Or even the sound of OP putting it on as he left their destination.

  • +25 votes

    User created profile 10 mins back just to let us know to use dash cam…wow…

  • +18 votes

    This is why you must have a dash cam

    If your dashcam verifies you are wearing a seatbelt, you are doing it wrong

  • +3 votes

    how would a dash cam show you were wearing your seatbelt?

    • +2 votes

      Possibly, if the dashcam records audio and OP drives modern car, surely the dashboard would beep the hell out of it if OP didnt wear seat belt.

      • +3 votes

        Yeah i got done a few years back because a passenger in the front seat wasnt wearing a seat belt. I had a modern car, but the seatbelt chime wasnt going off! For the life of me i haven't been able to replicate the situation whereby sitting in that seat in any way without a seatbelt doesnt trigger it. Just so damn unlucky that the one time someone wasnt wearing a seatbelt, the chime for whatever reason wasnt triggered, and i got pulled over for an RBT and bam… Double demerit weekend too :(

        • +1 vote

          So I deduce the passenger was young, given that you were fined not them. I believe the weight wasn't high enough for the seat sensor to register.

      •  

        Dunno about you but I put my seatbelt on then turn on the car…. so no chance of forgetting and no chance of the audio being on the dashcam either.

    •  

      some cams regards both directions i think, but they are for uber/taxis

    •  

      Have a look at this. This is one of my dashcams. It is pointing at the driver area of my car as I am the only sole passenger/driver of the car. This also records any interaction with the police if I am pulled over. As you can see I am seen wearing my seatbelt and hand on the wheel and the other hand is not seen but in really holding the gearstick. I have 2 more dashcams recording the road front and behind the car.

      https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aot-_iE5idROhYE1JklFLwyzcLbwgQ

  • +1 vote

    perhaps take a selfy before start driving?;)

  • +1 vote

    I am, also pretty sure that the officer was pointing a video camera at me but I'm not sure

    You're pretty sure but not sure
    If he had footage you would have been booked no questions needed

    Trolling I reckon

  • -1 vote

    cool story bro

  • +4 votes

    I know you. I saw you the other day doing burnouts and giving everyone the middle finger out near Werribee. Then you clipped a beamer and drove off.

    I didn't get your rego tho. Moral of the story. Have a camera on your head so you can record everything and not forget.

  • +3 votes

    Why do some cops have such fragile egos?

    • +14 votes

      Australia could wipe out this police corruption immediately by ignoring any officer's claims that are not accompanied by body worn video camera evidence.

      Australia has a long, sorry history of police corruption. Before the 1980's it was just a given that the police would assault citizens and criminals. Then we chose to ignore any interviews under caution that are not video taped. Magically allegations of being beaten up with phonebooks stopped occurring.

    •  

      probably small appendage syndrome.

      On another note, I asked an ex cop I used to work with why he became a cop, his reply "so I could bash people". realistically, it we all know its the power trip he was on

      • +1 vote

        I had a similar experience when I was reporting a traffic accident in A Sydney station. There was a brawl at a footy game and the Constable who was assisting me was disappointed he couldn't go out with the boys to beat the crap out the those guys. I mean sure, those guys are probably idiots and deserved to be charged but finding enjoyment in beating up people is inappropriate.

  • +3 votes

    Another day, another new user, another first post wonder.

  • +5 votes

    They must be on points system. Every cop needs to get so many points a week in fines. I used to have a police scanner back in analog days and you'd hear them talking about it from time to time.
    That's why he pissed off in a hurry.

  • +4 votes

    So we need like 6 dashcams? Front, back, left, right, front inside facing the back and back facing the front inside?

  • +5 votes

    The amount of mental illness in this line of work, I do feel for them.
    https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/topic/mental-health
    "Over the five-year period reviewed by SWA, the occupations with the highest rate of claims for mental health conditions were:
    defence force members, fire fighters and police (5.3 claims per million hours), specifically police (6.6)"

    Now to share my story. I slowed down as I saw a police car do a 3 point turn over double lines on the Princes Highway and he pulled to a stop. I drove around him. He tailed me a few kms into the next suburb and pulled me over to blow in the breatherlizer. Poor kid was given a large-sized shirt when he should have asked for a small. He complained about my driving. I was polite and he left me to go on my way.

    I'm glad to have shared that instead of bottling it inside for years.

  • +4 votes

    We could have all be saved this terrible anecdote if you had just worn your seatbelt.

  •  

    new user = troll? Or maybe it annoyed them enough to create an account. Some really constructive advice in here too, it really is a cesspool. I guess he/she was asking would they be up shit creek if the officer did write them up a ticket for driving without a seatbelt and what can be done to avoid false allegations.

  • +3 votes

    Was you wearing the seat belt when he was talking to you?

  •  

    I always make sure to wear one since a long time ago I didn't and I got a fine for it

    Just a friendly Police reminder. Move along.

    • +4 votes

      Probably searched his plate number, saw the owner being fined previously for not wearing a seatbelt. Pulled them over to re-enforce it. ;)

  • +4 votes

    This is a perfectly legal tactic cops use telling you they will let you off with a warning (or lesser penalty) then changing their mind.

    The other big one is they ask "do you know why I have pulled you over" which is a loaded question to lead you to make a confession.

  • +4 votes

    This happened to me but I didn't get off.

    I was teaching my ex gf on her L's how to drive.. We pulled into a strip of shops, I jumped out of the car to enter a store while a police officer pulled into the car park next to us and stopped me. He proceeded to ask me why I wasn't wearing my seat belt..

    I assured him that I was wearing my seat belt.. He then asked my gf if I was wearing my seat belt and she also assured him that I was.. He then started writing out a fine, I attempted to argue politely that I had not done anything wrong.. He became enraged with me and started yelling.

    Fearing that he would go over the car and 'look for things wrong' I backed down like a true wimp and copped the fine.

  • +1 vote

    Love cameras. WHY?? Road rage baby. When people see your camera, they tend to back away. Especially if you point it towards them. On the negative, they could smash your window and reach in. Never had the later happen though but the former has….

  • +2 votes

    Should i put a dash cam in my boot too?

  • +1 vote

    It hasn't been a great year for the police, with the revalation about the extensive false breath testing and gun collection for planting on suspects.

  • -2 votes

    But how is a dash cam gonna prove that you're wearing a seatbelt unless you have one pointing towards you?

    • +6 votes

      congrats on being the 10th person to say that. As others have replied above, you can get front/dual facing camera or have multiple cameras.

  • +1 vote

    Doesn't your car chime like crazy when you aren't wearing a seatbelt anyway OP? I would've used that fact as part of my argument.

  •  

    What's the clean up like?

  • +2 votes

    it's the police that needs the dashcam/evidence you were not wearing seatbelts, not the other way around… so if you were wearing one, they have no evidence, and you wouldn't need a "reversed dashcam" to record yourself.

    •  

      Indeed. I can't imagine that being 'falsely' accused of not wearing a seat belt is a common occurrence. A reversed dashcam would hardly be needed to record the fact.

    •  

      It is this whole issue of guilty until proven innocent. Most people just cop the fine because fighting it is just too costly in time and money.

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