Detail in speeding ticket sparks confusion over police tolerance

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A detail in a speeding ticket issued in Victoria has sparked confusion among drivers over what leniency police offer drivers caught over the limit.

A baffled motorist took to Facebook on Monday to share an infringement notice he'd received after going over the 60km/h limit in the Melbourne suburb of Brookfield.

He was detected travelling at 67km/h however according to the notice, his alleged speed was 64km/h.

"The alleged speed is lower than the detected speed to allow for tolerance in detection equipment," the notice explained.

The driver sought any information from Facebook users regarding a potential threshold that needed to be surpassed to receive a fine.

The post sparked dozens of comments from motorists, many with differing theories as to how far over a speed limit a driver can go without being fined.

Some drivers said the ticket clearly indicated the tolerance was 3km/h – the difference between the detected and alleged speeds.

The driver's speeding ticket prompted debate over what motorists could get away with in terms of going over the limit. Source: Facebook
The driver's speeding ticket prompted debate over what motorists could get away with in terms of going over the limit. Source: Facebook

Others said there is an additional 3km/h tolerance on top of the 3km/h given for detection equipment inaccuracies, meaning if the driver's detected speed was 66km/h they would have avoided a ticket. Some argued therefore a static speed camera will only be activated at speeds 7km/h over the limit.

Some said that 3km/h difference actually indicated it was a percentage in use, which would calculate as a 5 per cent tolerance.

And others argued manned speed cameras had greater leniency compared to fixed, static cameras.

Assume no tolerance, says Victoria Police

Road Policing Command Acting Inspector Michael Kelly told Yahoo News Australia it was wrong for drivers to assume there was a tolerance and while police "don't want to issue infringements", drivers over the limit "should expect to be caught".

“Sadly, many motorists think that it’s ok to drive a little bit over but what we do know is that speed, in whatever form, impacts road trauma," he said.

“While we do allow for some tolerance in detection equipment, Victoria Police does not discuss thresholds with regard to speed enforcement."

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) says the tolerance for fixed speed cameras stands at 2km/h while tolerance for mobile cameras and limits over 100km/h is 3km/h.

They note officers operating mobile devices can implement their own discretion.

Victoria is widely regarded as one of, if not the strictest, states when it comes to speeding.

The common theory about speed limits

In NSW, Yahoo News Australia understands drivers experience greater leniency than Victorians when it comes to speeding.

National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) spokesperson Peter Khoury told Yahoo News Australia the agency understands there is a minimum tolerance applied in NSW, yet they are unaware of any differing tolerances between detection devices in NSW.

Several police forces across the nation refuse to reveal what tolerance their officers use when it comes to speeding. Source: Getty, file.
Several police forces across the nation refuse to reveal what tolerance their officers use when it comes to speeding. Source: Getty, file.

He said several factors contributed to the necessity of such a tolerance, such as the accuracy of the camera, the accuracy of a vehicle’s speedometer and even tyre pressure.

The NRMA also understands if a driver appears to be driving in an unsafe manner, they are less likely to receive a leniency from mobile camera operators.

There is a common theory among motorists nationwide that drivers can enjoy a tolerance that equates to 10 per cent of the speed limit.

However several state police forces previously dismissed such a theory to Yahoo News Australia.

“In short, it’s a myth," a WA Police spokesperson said.

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