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US influencer roasted over excuses for $295 speeding fine in Sydney

An American woman blames differences between the States and Australia for her driving infraction, but Aussies aren't having it.

An American social media influencer in Sydney has been roasted online after sharing her experience of receiving a speeding fine and expressing her shock at Australia's road regulations.

Sophia Kim explained that she copped a $295 fine and three demerit points for driving at 101km/h in the Cross City Tunnel, which has a speed limit of 80km/h.

"As an American I got a licence here without taking any tests, without learning about the Australian laws here and I didn't realise you guys have cameras for speeding in the tunnels," Ms Kim said in a TikTok video posted on Saturday.

Sophia Kim selfie; TikTok video about a speeding fine
Sophia Kim was shocked that cameras caught her speeding in a Sydney tunnel. Source: Instagram, TikTok

'Still getting the hang of it'

The Los Angeles woman told her 107,000 followers she didn't see the road signs alerting drivers to the speed limit and presence of speed cameras because, ironically, she was focused on driving safely. "I'm freaking stressed out, as I'm trying to navigate where I'm going, especially driving for the first time in a different country on the other side of the road," she said.

Explaining the differences between road rules in the US and Australia, Ms Kim said cameras at red lights are common where she's from but speeding is only monitored by police officers on duty, not by cameras.

She also pondered whether to challenge the fine. "I'm wondering if I should fight this, because it's my first time driving in the tunnel," she said. "It's just my first time, I'm still getting the hang of it."

Attempting to justify her infraction, Ms Kim said she's a better driver when there are other cars around to let her know what speed to go, but her focus is elsewhere when the road is empty. "I'm not even looking at the speedometer because I'm like 'focus on the road' because I don't want to crash into the walls."

'Not excusable'

As Ms Kim's video spread across social media, Aussie viewers remained unsympathetic to her plight. ​​"21km over is wild but that's not excusable," one TikTok user commented. "So you're nervously driving recklessly so it's fine, right. Doesn't matter if you hit someone because you had okay intentions," another viewer added sarcastically.

Others advised Ms Kim not to waste her time fighting the fine, as she was clearly at fault. "The excuse 'it's my first time' won't work," wrote one viewer. "Australian laws aren't primary school teacher rules."

Meanwhile, on Reddit where the video has also gained traction, Ms Kim was branded "a complete idiot" by unimpressed users. "This is embarrassing. I'd be mortified to tell this story with this level of ego. I'm also from America, and yeah we do speed more there, but a basic rule of law in America is that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Pull your head out," wrote one Redditor.

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