Speeding Fine by School Zone Camera in Covid Hotspot Area

I recently received a fine $369 for speeding 55k in school zone.

I been working from home and its been 2 months I haven't left outside of My LGA (above 5k). But on the day I got fine I have to go to see my Specialist and didn't realize that school zone is still active and also roads are so empty. The road is actually 70k and still I am driving below speed limit. Actually later I found that the School Zone Sign which flashes at School time was covered by tree and that's the reason I couldn't see it. I think nobody in Sydney have ever seen empty roads on weekdays when school zone is active.

Image

I know its a school zone and I need to drive carefully but I think it happened because 1. Roads were empty 2. School Zone Sign is covered by tree

Just asking if anyone have received a fine in School zone is recent days and have successfully got out of it? Do I have any chance?

It's Woodville Road in Sydney.

Comments

  • +57

    Computer says no

    • +3

      42

      • +5

        So long, and thanks for the fish.

      • +6

        Yes?

        • I think we have to

  • +38

    I doubt you'll get the fine revoked, as there are warnings before the flashing lights.

    Agree it's a stupid place for a tree. Don't they think that trees will grow?

    • +3

      The departments for Road signs and Tree planting don't communicate. 🤷‍♂️

      Nor does Traffic lights and Road signs.

      • +29

        Reminds me of the joke:

        Two council workers are doing some work on the nature strip: one was digging a hole, the other one waited a minute and then filled the hole back in.

        Then they moved on and after about 10 metres they did the same - digging a hole, waiting a minute, and filling it back up.

        They went on doing this the whole morning, covering almost 5 km's of land. A guy who was watching them eagerly just couldn’t resist any more, and asked: "Are you guys mad or what? What the hell are you doing?"

        The guys replied "We are from the council's Nature Department. We are a three guy team. My job is to dig up a hole, the other guy plants a tree and this guy fills the hole back in. The planter called in sick today."

      • +1

        Chuck in bus stops, the number of bus stops I have seen next to a corner and you can't see oncoming traffic properly because the advertising blocks the view!

        • Know what you mean. They've installed whatever and task done ✔️. It's like a someone comes fix a window and breaks your door, but hey window is fixed right?! 😒

          Box-tickers are at large in modern times…

    • +1

      'there are warnings(google.com) before the flashing lights'

      sheesh - there goes the chance to contest, contessa !

    • +7

      I disagree - the warnings state speed camera ahead whereas the sign which displays the times etc is what is important and that is obscured.
      The tree placement is ridiculous and they need to do something about it for safety reasons.
      Don't forget plenty of people don't have school aged children and have no idea when school is in holidays, on covid shutdown, at school, what times etc so could argue they rely on those signs to provide that info.

      • have no idea when school is in holidays, ….

        But those that have a licence should be aware of basic road rules…

    • There's also a sign on the other side of the ride which, if as the OP states "roads are so empty", would have been perfectly visible.

      Weird how his picture didn't show that.

      OP - roads are empty doesn't mean you don't have to follow the speed limits, and by the fact you were going 55 in a 70 I'd guess you knew the limit but didn't fully slow down fully.

      Accept responsibility, pay the fine, move on.

  • +7

    No chance. Not for a school zone and those reasons won't change that.

    • +24

      That's quite interesting you say that because I got out of a fine specifically for that reason I took it to court and literally printed a photo just like the one OP posted. So what are your reasons or do you just like commenting with no evidence ?

      • +2

        Mind sharing which state and on what grounds you got out of the fine?

        • +2

          NSW - granted it was a parking fine where tree branch covered the sign. Paid $68 court costs and provided the photo which the judge looked at and dismissed the fine.

          • +2

            @Michegianni: Yep, parking sign I follow; disputed those myself for blocked parking signs in the sydney cbd when construction workers had covered them up.

            I have witnessed one similar case (claimed the sign was obstructed) but the judge wasn't have a bar of it. Judge I watched was particularly nasty about the school zone one and went on about how there is 4 things that identify a school zone. I was there for a licence suspension which I got out of (was around 8 years ago now mind you)

            1. Flashing lights on signs
            2. Signs themselves giving the hours
            3. Road markings indicating the change in school zone
            4. Dragons teeth for at least 20 meters that give tactile feedback and visual warning to slow down

            The judge I watched went on and on about how she would need an extremely compelling reason to dismiss a school zone offence whatever the offence whether it was using a mobile phone, speeding or reckless driving as it involves potentially vulnerable children.

          • +12

            @Michegianni:

            NSW - granted it was a parking fine where tree branch covered the sign.

            Soooo… It wasn't for speeding and wasn't in a school zone… Totally the same as OP's predicament…

            There is no leniency considered for speeding offences committed in school zones. [List of leniency considerations in NSW: A Pamphlet from Revenue NSW website)

            • @pegaxs: interesting

            • +2

              @pegaxs:

              There is no leniency considered for speeding offences committed in school zones. [List of leniency considerations in NSW: A Pamphlet from Revenue NSW website

              NSW Income website
              Fixed that for you.

      • +5

        Parking fines are different to speeding fines.

        • Parking fines and speeding fines are covered in the same legislation - the state Road Rules.

          • +7

            @factor: But one tends to kill more people than the other, hence the severity of the penalty.

            • @kerfuffle: It's possible to argue that's irrelevant to how the authority responsible for the road must maintain the signs and how you can't be expected to comply with them if you can't see them. However the brochure posted by pegaxs about no leniency in school zones is compelling for your argument

              • -2

                @MrFrugalSpend: The problem is that yes, one sign is one is obscured by a tree. No one is disputing that. However, there is also another school zone sign on the other side of the road that the OP can clearly see as they approach the zone, as well as markings on the road indicating it's a school zone. Furthermore, this hasn't been brought up, but the OP was speeding 15km/hr above the limit. If they were doing say 42 km/hr, I'd feel sorry for them. But 15km/hr is quite high.

                • @kerfuffle: I'm guessing there is legislation for why there are multiple signs required - and I'm not sure if it's a "just in case" a tree happens to cover one of them - there is a backup of more signs. If the rules are - there must be X signs visible to enforce Y - and there are not X signs visible - Y shouldn't be enforceable. I know that when Lane Cove Tunnel was being built, the speed cameras were sending people fines and because of lack of signage there was a class action and they were all thrown out.

                  It's up to the enforcing body to enforce their own rules with their own "number of visible signs" guidelines they put in place themselves.

                  Unfortunately @pegaxs PDF link, while mentioning "not seeing the signs" is no excuse, I believe this is when signs are clearly visible and you could not see them. Being physically impossible to see them is in a whole other category not covered by this PDF.

                  Usually multiple signs indicate where enforceable action starts and if any of those signs were physically impossible to see it would certainly be confusing as to where the enforcement starts.

                  You could potentially just drive 40 the entire time but driving 20 under the limit is also illegal in a 60 zone you would be impeding traffic. So now in these split seconds a driver is left to their own devices to figure out what to do in this catch 22 because the government hasn't taken any action to make sure their sign for enforcement is visible.

                  It's not like the tree fell over and covered the sign either - it's quite clear that the tree would have grown over time and therefore the corresponding governing body would have known well in advance about the issue.

                  • @Michegianni:

                    You could potentially just drive 40 the entire time but driving 20 under the limit is also illegal in a 60 zone you would be impeding traffic.

                    OP was doing 15 under the usual speed limit of 70km/hr. Sounded like he was impeding traffic (unless traffic was heavy, but then everyone else would have also been doing 40km/hr or less, right?)

                • @kerfuffle: Why would he be doing 42 if he didn’t think the school zone was active?

                  • @CommuterPolluter: But he wasn't. I was saying if he got done 2km/hr over the limit instead of 15km/hr over, I would feel sorry for him. Why was he doing 55km/hr instead of 70km/hr if he didn't think the school zone was active?

      • Agreed - Normally I think most people are clutching at straws but I think the OP actually has a reasonable chance here

      • So what are your reasons

        do you just like commenting with no evidence

        I think you have the answer just there

  • +23

    The road is actually 70k …

    No, the limit at the time you travelled was not 70km/hr.

  • +14

    I know its a school zone and I need to drive carefully but I think it happened because 1. Roads were empty 2. School Zone Sign is covered by tree

    As rough as it is, schools are still 'open' as such for vulnerable and essential workers children.

    So kids are still around etc. The fine will most likely 'stick', just like they do for "pupil free day" when there are no kids at school!?

    Image here: https://imgur.com/a/OnfNTPf

    BUT that said, you can always plead your case that the tree is blocking the sign and you had been unaware.

    The problem though as I see it, is there is another sign/warning just before the speed camera, which is most likely not blocked unless that grass has gone crazy ;)

    Google maps

    • +5

      this makes it clear as day. I also looked on that google link and if you go back further there is another sign just before Barbers rd. So all in all 3 signs two very clear one slightly covered

      • +9

        Not to mention the big YELLOW 40KM markings on the road (on OP's pic)!

        • +1

          lol….I mean really? can it be any clearer?

          I reckon Mr.McGoo would would know there is a speed camera and that it is a 40 zone.

          I can understand OP thinking it didn't apply thinking school was out even if he was wrong but absolutely zero chance of getting this revoked. More likely they would ask him to get an eye test if he reckons it wasn't clear enough

          • @slipperypete: I disagree - Plenty of people get off on technicalities. The regulation, tied to the legislation, which is what they issue the fine under, spells out how the road must be signed. Its variable speed at different times of the day so the times explanation is important.

            OP has a chance of getting off this fine. If it was anywhere other than a school zone which doesn't have leniency it would be almost a given.
            Regardless, the judge is busy, may look at the photo and agree the tree should not be like that,
            They will want to avoid an argument/appeal etc so will likely issue a warning to be careful, downgrade or remove the fine, say don't do it again, request that someone look into removing that tree, and move OP on with a warning.

            OP will have still learned lesson in their mind by having to waste their time pleading their case and will have helped by bringing an issue with the tree to their attention. No big deal for them really. Worth a shot - 50/50

    • +4

      Google maps

      Yikes. On the day the Google truck went patrolling, there is another mobile speed camera vehicle parked on the grass on the other side of the road (police car with yellow strip across and red band at the bottom).

      This stretch of road must be a popular money making machine for the government.

      • +2

        More likely that's one of two vehicles working on the speed cameras, as both have a ladder on top, and they're parked either side of the flash unit. One guy's just washing his hands at the back of the vehicle. :) Be funny if it were an added speed camera though.

      • Yikes. On the day the Google truck went patrolling, there is another mobile speed camera vehicle parked on the grass on the other side of the road (police car with yellow strip across and red band at the bottom).

        Nope, that is the camera servicing people.

      • -2

        This stretch of road must be a popular money making machine for the government.

        or maybe because it is a very busy 70kmh zone with a school in the middle and they really want people to be cautious of their speed

  • +9

    Most schools are still operating for children of permitted workers, so you aren't going to get out of the fine using that angle.

  • +2

    If your an out of Towner how in the hell does anyone expect to see that sign with a bushy tree covering most of it.
    Anyway if you have a good diving record it’s only your time to write to the authorities and explain and they can only say no …

    • +12

      By looking at both sides of the road where the other school zone sign is …

      Sorry OP, but you're gonna have to suck it up on this one. Don't see any trees blocking the other school zone sign (my screencap says it was taken April 2021)

      • ^ Nailed it.

        Nice detective work.

        OP, that kryptonite meteorite you found, might be impairing your judgment.

        OP’s next destination, it’s pay the fine time.

        /thread

      • not sure what its like in nsw, but I dont think i've ever looked for signs on the right side of the road in Vic.

        It's usually where they put signs for oncoming traffic

        Bit silly to expect people to look both sides.

        • There's also painted school zones on the road too.

          It's a good idea to keep an eye on the right side of the road in case of incidents like cars losing control and crossing over to the wrong side of the road

          • @kerfuffle: oh yeah for sure potential hazards definitely hahah. i'd never read anything though

      • There is also another "school zone ahead, 40km" sign about 50 metres before the actual sign, and that's clearly visible…

  • +3

    Need to pay attention on the roads. The big 40 signs printed on the road should have been a giveaway. Driven through school zones a lot myself lately and most people are slowing down. Some are going to learn the hard way though.

    Contact the appropriate council and request they remove the tree for sign visibility.

  • +1

    You already know the answer to your question.

    Whether or not the opinions of people on this site make you feel better about it is really the only variable.

  • +2
    1. Nah
    2. Nope
    3. No way

    I know its a school zone and I need to drive carefully

    Thanks, that makes sense.

    • +1

      That makes sense. Cheers

  • +9

    Probably focused on the destination rather than the journey…

    • +2

      Spot on. Every unintentional mistake I’ve made driving is because of this.

      • +4

        Whoosh

  • +1

    If (a) the school in question has students attending and (b) you did the speed nominated then you deserve every cent of the fine- plus some.
    The limits are in place for a very good reason- viz. to protect our most innocent.
    Clowns that ignore these speed limits and then cry foul when they get smacked with a fine deserve no sympathy.

  • +1

    There's even ads on the radio telling you they are still operating. They never stop operating, except during gazetted school holidays.

    • -2

      ads
      radio
      2021

      Why would you not listen to your own music.

      • +1

        Never had the pure bliss of rocking out to 2ws jukebox Saturday Night, I see.

      • +2

        I do not make my own music, so I can't.

      • Listen to new stuff, no royalties to pay (subscription etc), also get news and information as well. Choose ABC for no ads.

  • +3

    While you might have a point with that sign behind a tree, it doesn’t solve the 1st and 3rd signs and road markings that you also drove past.

    As for the road being empty… irrelevant.

    And as everyone has already said above, there is no leniency for infringements obtained in school zones.

  • -2

    Try appealing anyway on your grounds, got nothing to lose.

    • +3

      Except wasting everyone's time when we all know it's going to be rejected?

      • +1

        Never know. I've gotten out of a speeding fine in a school zone before.

        • Do tell? Perhaps your experience may help the OP (and anyone else trying to get out of it). Was this in NSW?

          • +10

            @kerfuffle: Was in Victoria. December 16th 2016 High street and Punt road intersection in Prahran outside Wesley college. 47km/hr in a 40km zone. My appeal was based on the school had finished it's school term on the 12th December as it is a private school. It was closed and no students were around. The official public school term went until the 20th. Anyway they let me off. I wish I still had the letter.

            I still think it's worth an appeal. Just write a short letter saying schools are in lockdown, the sign is clearly obstructed and needs fixing and you'll be mindful of it and won't do it in the future. Don't worry about using a minute of some bureaucrat's time.

            • +5

              @emblurr: Except the sign isn't obstructed on the other side, and there's markings on the road where it's a school zone.

              I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, but NSW are pretty strict when it comes to school zones. It'll be a miracle if OP gets off.

              • @kerfuffle: Sydney is built on revenue raising through fines. Thats how we make our money.

            • +1

              @emblurr: The difference in the op’s case was that the school was open…

    • Only worth trying if this is the demerit point that will lose your licence for the first time and your livelihood depends on it. AND you are prepared to pay for one of those lawyers that has success at this sort of thing AND they think there is a chance. That’ll cost you way more than the fine of course.
      Otherwise take the OZB advice.

  • +5

    Nice mental gymnastics

    Schools are still open for children of essential workers and children at risk. Therefore you need to be obeying the speed limits. School zones don't need to be sign-posted. You see a school, you slow the (profanity) down

  • +12

    I know its a school zone and I need to drive carefully

    yes

    but

    no

    • +4

      we have a winner

  • +2

    I would definitely try and have it reviewed on this occasion as the sign is blocked partly by tree. Write a letter to have it reviewed and send pucture. If you also haven't had any fines for awhile this should help as well.

    • There is a sign on both sides of the road, and the one on the right is clearly visible.
      Plus there is an earlier sign, about 50metres before the one OP showed, that also states that there is a school zone ahead and that the limit is 40kmh.
      Plus there are the markings on the road that clearly state there is a school zone ahead.

  • +2

    Unsurprisingly /s only in Australia would you need to pay a private company to find out if the road signs were compliant with the Australian Standards https://www.standards.org.au/standards-catalogue/sa-snz/tran...

    • +1

      Got stung interstate for a red right turn arrow. RAA engineer looked at it on Google and advised incorrect lane markings, missing red arrow at the stop line, only red arrow on the exit side of a divided highway. Complete miss of road regulations and standards. Wrote a letter, rejected. Costs to defend - travel interstate rural, stay overnight, engage traffic engineer witness. The right turn was the one the magistrate would use everyday to get to the court. Paid the fine. Sucked up my first demerit points since they began, RAA added it to their lists of intersections to be challenged.

  • +1

    Unfortunately we just have to suck it up unless you have good record to try write a letter for leniency. There were multiple sign before that and at certain distance you can see the sign flashing. I also travel on that road a thousand time and just one time this year I forgot about school zone time as I always travel there almost different time everyday. Done 69km thinking the limit is 70km at that exact camera, fine for $650 with 4 points gone. Even though checking my photo there were no kids on the side walk at 3:40pm, I decided not to waste time and just pay up. You can call up to pay by installment. That road is probably one of the most profitable road in Sydney for the government, it has like six cameras from one end to the other end.

    • +1

      unfortunately .. or fortunately depending on what side you're on…. they dont consider good driving record for school zones.

  • +2

    I have seen speed fines be overturned in court if signs are obstructed or not correct (one guy got off because the change of speed signs weren't on both sides of the road - one had been run over). Speed reminder signs are only on one side, speed change have to be on both sides, if its not then it's not to spec.

    But agree it's bs given schools weren't really in operation, people will just say "but think of the children"
    another complaint to be directed at gladys

    • +3

      it's bs given schools weren't really in operation

      As someone who works/volunteers at a school part time, I can assure you that they were open every single day of the lockdown, and since I was WFH from my main job, I spent nearly every day at the school.

      • Are kids there with you?

        • +5

          We have had anywhere up to 1/4 of the school’s normal population on any given day. It’s a school of about 400~500 students during normal operation and most days we averaged 50ish students, but we had days where there were up to 100 students attending in the middle of lockdown. Our lowest attendance day was still around 25 students.

          I had to do pick ups and deliveries to the other schools in the area, and all reported about the same average percentage attendance levels when I asked.

  • +3

    The speed limit is painted in yellow on the road.

    • +1

      But it doesn't have flashing lights or digital clock attached../s

  • You can plead your case, but I’d give you a 10% chance of success. I drive past a school everyday I go to work, even though the school car park is completely empty a speed check van is outside at least once a week now, it used to be once a month.

  • "Speeding Fine by School Zone Camera in Covid Hotspot Area"

    Oh! since you were in a covid hotspot, why didn't you have a mask over your number plate?

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