$448 Penalty For "Drive without Proper Control of Vehicle"

It rained previous night, while I was driving to work, I was stopped by a police car with ticket of $448 and 3 demerit points with offence as "Drive without proper control of vehicle".

This is what happened:
I turned right on a signal while signal was green, road was clear no vehicle in the front or back. Car was under speed limit (Police officer confirmed this). After I turned right, my car skidded, due to wet road but I controlled it quickly and no harm done to myself, car or the road. After couple of minutes I found a police car chasing me and stopped me to fine.

While talking to police officer, told him several times that car skidded due to bad weather condition but he didn't listen to any of my argument and was pretty adamant to the point that "provided there are cars beside or behind you could have had hit, and it's a clear case of negligence driving". In addition to this I also told officer that I have been a decent driver for last 5 years without any penalty or demerit points, but he didn't listen any of my arguments.

The office told me that the incident was recorded in the camera fitted in their car, for which, I believe I need to goto police station to check the video clip of the incident. What do you guys think of my chance at court if I want to have the penalty decided in court?

Poll Options

  • 372
    Take this penalty to court
  • 7
    Apply leniency
  • 178
    Pay the fine and move on

Comments

  • +194 votes

    If your car did a skid when going around a corner, then you didnt have full control off the car…

    • +24 votes

      If I could + vote multiple times I would. Bad weather is no excuse, you must drive to the conditions.

      You've admitted there was no other influences other than the bad weather, which means you didn't have full control of your car and weren't driving to the conditions. No other traffic and you were turning right, certainly sounds like you hit the corner too fast (regardless of whether you were above or below the speed limit, this is absolutely irrelevant) for the conditions you were in.

      •  

        Sounds like what happened to OP is called "lift-off oversteer". In short, it's when there is a drop in speed while turning causes the car's weight to shift forward, putting more traction on the front wheels and less on the back. The back wheels, now with less traction, break away from the front and spin the rear out. There are many examples of this on youtube as demonstration videos and as actual occurrence (look at Dashcams AU compilations). It will happen much more frequently in the rain, or roads where there's a slant. Can be made more possible if rear tyres have less traction than the front.

        Given that 95% of people here are against OP, they clearly aren't aware of the conditions required for it to happen either. It's a unique set of circumstances which require very little from the driver to induce, so its occurrence need not necessarily be negligent.

        OP research what this is to understand what happened and how you can prevent it.

        •  

          No it wasn't like that, it was the wheels on the left side of the car that skid, assuming OP was approaching tge traffic light when it was still green. Under this case angle momentum exert greater push on the outer side of the vehicle doing circular motion (the left side) causing its wheel to skid.

    • -7 votes

      I dunno, I’ve done plenty of controlled slides around corners in the wet - done quite a few uncontrolled ones too! They make a competition out of controlled slides in a car, it’s called drifting.

      • +10 votes

        The penalty would be far worse if he claimed the skid was intentional though

        • +5 votes

          Yeah that'd fall under hoon laws

        • +3 votes

          Of course, but my reply was aimed at Munnday stating that if he did a skid there was no control. Of course if an officer pulls you over you say it was accidental, but that won’t cut it if the war wheels have been spinning for half a block.

          I find that completely stepping off the accelerator in a power slide is a more violent result than gradually backing off and regaining traction. coppers would know this and be able to tell between hooning and not having control.

          • +4 votes

            @Euphemistic: That's a lot of power to give a cop.

            Cops aren't morally superior people capable of objective and accurate judgement.

            I feel for OP if he/she is being genuine. We have some very bad roads here that often has loose gravel and/or mud cover and I oversteer momentarily. If a cop is the arbitrator of what is hooning and what isn't, chances are that I'll never be guilt of hooning since my daily driver, music and attire doesn't fit the profile.

            Someone with a mustang and visible tattoos will not fare as well.

            I'm not an advocate for hooning and/or body art but I'm definitely against giving another human being the power to penalize solely on their discretion.

            • +3 votes

              @tshow: They aren’t morally superior. Coppers, especially highway patrol, would know the difference because they will have had advanced driver training. They know what to look for.

              OP hasn’t come back with any further info in the type of skid or method of control. For all we know he plowed halfway across an intersection with the front wheels pointing a different direction to the travel then used he handbrake to swing the rear around. The cop obviously saw it was bad enough to warrant ‘not in control’

              • +2 votes

                @Euphemistic: If they can abuse their discretion, they will.

                I acknowledge that they have training but the training you refer to is still reliant on subjective measure and the choice to take action is still discretionary.

            • +1 vote

              @tshow: If the car slid while attempting to stop in wet conditions. Possible.

              If the car slid during cornering in wet conditions, it's clear the driver doesn't understand what does driving safely means.

      •  

        And now we know the real reason for the fine :)

        Sounds like there is a good chance you were driving a little silly, and this is what the fine was really about.

      •  

        You've never drifted.

    •  

      It can skid if tyres are older and due for new one, depend how badly was skid.

  • +23 votes

    "Drive without proper control of vehicle".

    Which is what you did.

    "provided there are cars beside or behind you could have had hit, and it's a clear case of negligence driving"

    Which is true.

    Sounds like either you were going too fast or you have bald tyres.

    • +10 votes

      Tyres were good, just 20k driven from last changed. The police offers actually checked my tyres and measured if threads are over permissible limit.

      • +26 votes

        So that leaves poor throttle control, poor driving in general, or you did it intentionally. Either way - you should cop the find and move on. It's tough love, but it might save you from something far worse. We had a kid killed on the road beside our house two weeks ago because he lost control in the wet and hit a tree. Tough lesson to learn.

      • +2 votes

        Just because your tyres have plenty of tread and are legal doesn't mean they aren't the problem.

        Tyres have a shelf life as they often harden with age and hence lose their grip.

        Also some tyres are just shite from day one in offering good grip. I just replaced my car tyres that only had 32k on them with heaps of tread as they provided little grip in the dry and none in the wet since purchased new.

        Do you have Dunlop tyres by any chance?

      •  

        If you genuinely didn't give it a bit much around the corner then my guess is it's probably shit hard compound chinese tyres…. achilles, nexen, provato, hancook ?

      • +5 votes

        If your recount is genuine and it sounds like it is, there is every possibility that there might have been an oil patch or something else out of your control contributing to the skid - it's probably worth going back and taking a few photos of anything that could suggest this might be the case.

        This same thing happened to an acquaintance in my younger days. Don't get me wrong he was guilty as hell, but he went back to the scene anyway and took some pictures of the road and what looked like some oil on the road. He took it to court and the judge ruled in his favour and the fine and demerits were waived.

      •  

        I bought new tyres cheap one form bridgestone,and it was skid at first week when Road was wet. Tyres will skid when you accelerate car more harder when wet surface. particular cheap tyres will do more often.

        •  

          Exactly similar thing happened to me. I tried to accelerate and skidded. My tyres are few months old.

    • +10 votes

      Unless there was oil or some other material on the road, or the road camber was ordinary.
      I have seen a number of instances where I have been driving slowly around a roundabout or corner where the vehicle has slid, (over or understeer) without provocation or intent.

      • +15 votes

        BuT YoU’rE nOT drIVnNg to tHe ConDItioNS!!!!

        • +2 votes

          You can slide on oil at any speed.

          Ah, I see now your comment was tongue-in-cheek.

        • +8 votes

          This comment sums up Ozbargain when it comes to the OP getting fined by police or ticket inspectors and whatnot.

          OP could get T-boned by a cop and died, and OP would be to blame for it. Hell, OP could be sitting on a park bench reading the newspaper and get shot in the face by a cop and OP would still be at fault.

          Some ozbargainer's pass judgement without knowing all the details, or even ASKING for all the details which is how our justice system works. And to think we have these people as jurors.

          • +1 vote

            @Blitzfx: Yeah, but if you're looking for someone to apply logic to a situation, inside an illogical framework, there's no one better.

            They're the best Jerry. The best!

  • +5 votes

    The way you seem to have handled that situation shows that you need to get legal advice. Once you start saying the wrong things, they go on with one type of script.

    •  

      May be .. this was my first ever encounter with police officer.

      • +6 votes

        Not 100% sure but some NSW drivers can apply for leniency. Link Please get actual legal advice as well. It leads to more penalties if you don't understand the system.

  • +6 votes

    what car is it?

    86/brz ?

    • +3 votes

      Outlander

      • +43 votes

        That's hilarious. What a drifting machine!

        • +1 vote

          understeering wheelspin
          .

        •  

          I was thinking all along this must be something with a poorly modified suspension gemoetry, lowered without much thought to grip, and suffering poor wet weather traction due to camber/toe settings being near their maximum extents.

          But in reality it sounds like another Shitsushiti with cheap tyres and worn suspension having trouble maintaning grip out of a wet corner where there is bad road camber and slippery painted lines.

          I'd challenge the ticket, a driver should not be summarily fined for not knowing there's an series of oily/slippery patches. If yhe video shows this could be plausible, they need not nail you for bad driving.

          Having said that, slipping sideways in a vehicle with a high CoG is bound to catch the coppers attention, and if the video makes it look like you were cornering a little too hotly, be prepared to cop it sweet as you'll only make it look worse.

          Judging by the wear profile on the front tyres of most of these understeering SUVs its a wonder they don't end up on their roofs in the ditch, on every other corner!!!

      • +6 votes

        cop magnet! mr fast & furious on the loose in his outlander again!
        But how did you skid with a FWD / AWD? unless you turned really hard into the corner while accelerating? I would check the footage if possible.

    • +3 votes

      lol I was literally just thinking this is a common occurrence in my 86, whether I want it to happen or not

      • +9 votes

        Perhaps you're driving in a manner that's contributing to the loss of control?

        • +5 votes

          I do have to admit that my clutch control isn't quite up to snuff, but in the wet first gear is quite touchy and the car stock is quite under-tyred. Not an excuse, just saying that living in a hilly area with a manual 86 with prius tyres isn't a recipe for maximum traction, I'd much rather chirp a bit then roll back into someone

          • +2 votes

            @kille745: Fair enough, I've had my fair share of impractical vehicles and understand that a lot of factors are involved in comfortably driving said cars.

      • +2 votes

        You know there’s other cars way more powerful that are RWD that manage to keep it under control. Maybe don’t drop clutch at 5K RPM on Prius tyres.

    • -1 vote

      Skyline R33 GTS-T

  • +16 votes

    You should think long and hard on how to interact in a situation where a cop pulls you over, they could of just given you a warning, but the way you responded may have led to the fine, contest the fine and move on and try to be more considerate of them in the future.

  • +1 vote

    If you go to the police asking to see the video they will probably laugh at you and say 'you can see it in the court room if you choose to contest it'

    They won't give you the opportunity to see whether you think you can contest it after viewing the video.

    •  

      Strongly doubt it. If you're polite and make an appointment with the officer (so they can have the footage ready to play) it should be no problem to view it. Don't expect to get a copy given to you though.

      I imagine viewing footage usually results in less requests to go to court, so it'd be in their interest to show you.

      • +1 vote

        I strongly doubt your statement, cops get paid to attend court, they probably prefer you to contest it.

    • +1 vote

      You are wrong. You have every right to request to review the footage:

      "If you were told that the incident was recorded, you may want to view this footage before you go to court. You should contact the officer in charge or the prosecutor dealing with your matter and make an appointment to view the footage." Source

      •  

        To me it seems, the way that your source is worded, is that you can view the footage once you have put in the relevant paperwork to contest it. Eg. Asking to see evidence that will be used in court.

        •  

          Yes, but that does not constitute "going to court". This is done "before you go to court" to determine if you want to follow through.

          I did this when they first brought in the camera's about 10 years ago. Cops alleged I failed to indicate left on a roundabout (which was enough to lose my licence on my P's). So I requested to see the footage at the local Police Station and they willingly showed it to me.

          The footage was "inconclusive", so the officer informed me it would be their word against mine (a p-plater) in court and I decided not to contest it in court.

          No paperwork was involved and I never invoked court proceedings.

  • +22 votes

    Take it to court and argue it was the road that moved sideways not your car.

    Sounds more plausible than your story

  •  

    I have been driving for 30 something years now and have never lost control of a vehicle around a corner, even in torrential rain and icy conditions. Not sure why you think its something that is beyond your control. Drive to conditions.

    • +1 vote

      Same here mate. The only difference is I hit my first :) This is the first time I experienced something like this in my past 20 years of driving career including 5 years in NSW.

      • +6 votes

        Very unlucky for you then that the police just happened to be there to witness your first slide.

        Might have been a patch of oil there that caused the slide if you think you were driving at a safe speed.

    • +3 votes

      In the past I worked in London driving a van picking up and delivering motorcycles right through the winter. Many, many times the tyres lost traction even at slow speeds. One time it was in a car park doing 5km/h. Impossible to avoid when there is ice on the road.

    • +2 votes

      Never hit an oil slick then.

    •  

      So a sample of one person is a definitive guide to whether you drive correctly? Fail

    •  

      Particularly if it hasn't been raining for some time and it suddenly rains it can become slippery without any visual cue. Having decent driving skills is necessary but not sufficient to avoid loss of control of a vehicle.

      Good luck proving to anyone that there was something on the road. I don't think this is worth fighting.

  • +3 votes

    Police followed you for a few minutes, assessing your driving. If they really thought you were a danger then they would of pulled you over right away.

    " but he didn't listen to any of my argument "

    That is why you failed

  • +1 vote

    Thought surely doing a bit of a hoon wheel spin until I saw Outlander..? Whats your driving record like?

  • +2 votes

    I would go and check the police video evidence before deciding to pursue it in court.

    • -2 votes

      No chance the police will show you the video, its police property, you have no right to view it unless it is being used as evidence against you in court.

      •  

        Wrong. You have a right to "view this footage before you go to court", "If you haven't had a chance to view the ICV before the day of court, you may ask for an adjournment."

        "If you were stopped and received a fine from a police officer, the alleged incident may have been recorded on In-car Video (ICV). ICV is footage recorded by equipment installed in some police vehicles. The ICV records images and sounds. It can record a conversation you have with a police officer after you are stopped.

        Police officers who have ICV equipment in their cars must record any vehicle that they follow and intend on stopping. Once the police officer stops you they must tell you if they are using the ICV.

        If you were told that the incident was recorded, you may want to view this footage before you go to court. You should contact the officer in charge or the prosecutor dealing with your matter and make an appointment to view the footage or make some other arrangement.

        If you haven't had a chance to view the ICV before or on the day of court, you may be able to ask for an adjournment to get some more time."

        http://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/Pages/representing/lawassist_fines/lawassist_goingtocourt_fine/lawassist_pleadingnotguilty_fine/lawassist_evidence_fines.aspx#In-carVideo​​(ICV)

        • +1 vote

          Yes, you have the right to view evidence that will be relied on in court, once you have filed intention to contest.

          'Before you go to court' is referring to the matter already being dealt with by the court.

          Why do you think the whole paragraph refers to prosecutor's and court matters.

          •  

            @crashloaded: Yes, but that does not constitute "going to court". This is done "before you go to court" to determine if you want to follow through.

            I did this when they first brought in the camera's about 10 years ago. Cops alleged I failed to indicate left on a roundabout (which was enough to lose my licence on my P's). So I requested to see the footage at the local Police Station and they willingly showed it to me.

            The footage was "inconclusive", so the officer informed me it would be their word against mine (a p-plater) in court and I decided not to contest it in court.

            No paperwork was involved and I never invoked court proceedings.

            • +1 vote

              @field1985: Perhaps you got lucky and I am wrong. Legal advice I have read states 'With the exception of speed cameras, evidence is usually only shown if you decide to contest the fine in court.'

  • +1 vote
    1. Yeah, nice example of a road rule which seems okay at first glance, but it’s actually insanely powerful and covers a lot.

    2. About the only defence you could have is that there was an unexpected environmental factor, such as oil or dog darting out. It was raining whole time so that’s not unexpected.

    3. You admitted to the offence.

    • +5 votes

      RE: #1 to be fair there are a lot of laws (both road and non-road) that are like this - in that they rely on being interpreted and applied correctly by the Police officers. As a general rule of thumb I think you'd find the public are more than ok with this as the vast majority of police do a very good job in a very tough job - and without such laws a lot of folks would cause issues by just causing enough crap but not 'overstepping' the line to be charged.

      In today's world where everyone has cameras etc - a police officer isn't looking to trump up stuff on an innocent party as the career ramifications of doing this are too severe i.e risk vs reward - there's nothing in it for them, so why risk major blowback.

  • +10 votes

    Sorry but I'm calling BS on this.

    Firstly, any half decent driver knows that you drive to suit the conditions. So saying it skidded as it was wet is nonsense - it skidded as you drove it too fast around the turn - plain and simple.

    So the OP says they were under the speed limit - likely either 50 or 60 but making a 90 degree turn in a non-performance car in the wet can be well under the speed limit but thats still a BAD IDEA - as you're not meant to turn at the full speed limit or even close to it.

    The can hypothesis about patches of oil or anything else all we like but I'd bet a lot of money that the OP didn't think there was any risk or a police car watching and brought too much speed into the corner, either not braking enough or far too late &/or at too sharp an angle - likely they're not a very good driver and as such ended up skidding in a manner that was pretty significant. I don't think a Police Officer is going to stop you to apply a fine if it's a very minor skid - it was obviously one where you were driving poorly and thats exactly what these fines are there for.

    All things considered it's a small price to pay compared to if you'd ended up sliding across into oncoming traffic etc.

    • +6 votes

      One morning a year or two ago I skidded/fish tailed around a corner I go around almost every working day. I was doing maybe 15. It hadn't rained for a long while and that morning it had started raining. There was nothing visible on the road to indicate I should drive more slowly and I drove at the same speed I would on any rainy day. I recovered quickly but it left me shaken? Not quite the right word - taken aback perhaps. In 28 years of driving I had only ever skidded one other time and that was on loose rocks in very unfamiliar conditions back in 2002.

      I'm amazed that so many people think that their "superior" driving skills makes them impervious to a vehicle behaving unexpectedly.

  • +7 votes

    The car didn't skid due to weather conditions mate. It skidded due to accelerating too fast around a corner in wet conditions. You simply don't have the same traction that you do on a dry road.

    Deep down I think you already know this because nobody can be this silly. Take this one on the chin and adjust your driving to match the conditions in future.

  • +10 votes

    "Car was under speed limit (Police officer confirmed this)"

    Doing speed limit has nothing to do with car control. This is what decades of media has brainwashed us with, being a good drive = not speeding. There is so much more to this.

    Pay the fine and move on, you did lose control of the vehicle (Weather has nothing to do with it). If you don't understand why or how that happened, instead of asking the police for a chance, you are better off giving yourself one and doing a defensive driving course.

  • +14 votes

    I think $448 is a morally obscene amount to pay for this small indiscretion. I would take it to court to at least try to get a smaller fine.

    • +3 votes

      As the infraction is one thats able to be applied to a range of behaviours - it's POSSIBLE it is at the high end if it was just a minor and avoidable skid.

      That said I think it's human nature to understate things so that their side sounds better and more plausible - and with respect I think the OP is clearly doing that.

      Only the Police officer and them knows exactly what happened so its really simple - if the OP feels it was such a benign and minor slide - and their driving could not reasonably be blamed for this - THEN yes, use your right to and go to court and appeal this.

      But I believe if you do this and the infraction is upheld - then you'll wear court costs as well. But thats their risk vs reward….but given they feel so strongly that they're hard done by sure they should go. :-)

      I get that it sounds like a lot for a small offence - but I would imagine that Police officer has been working traffic long enough to have seen the consequences of motor vehicles colliding and knows that if a driver feels its ok to drive like that on wet nights around a corner then it's plausible they'll think it's ok to do this and more at other times - and it just takes one time for this to end up in much more than just a skid. So they likely have very little sympathy for letting folks off as they know it's perhaps the only way the majority will learn.

      It's a bitter pill to swallow but on the upside the fine is $0 if you don't lose control of your vehicle, so pretty simple choice IMHO.

      PS. And look seriously it sounds like the OP is generally a good driver - I think they said they've been driving 20yrs+ and never had a demerit point? So really if this is the case they're they type of driver where the system should be used and they should ATLEAST ask for the fine to be reduced or waived due to their good driving record. This is fair and the system is there to support them do this. I can understand it might have been a momentary loss of concentration - which doesn't excuse it - but I think it's rough to do one thing wrong and cop a big fine - so if this is the case, I think the OP is justified in wearing whatever is right for the infraction (as you can't appeal this on the basis of a good driving record) but you can ask for whatever penalty is applied to be reduced/waived based on your long term good record. :-)

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