NSW Speed Camera validity may be challenged in the High Court

Monday 15 July 2013 @ 10.07 a.m. | Legal Research

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, an esoteric group of legal advocates is attempting to launch a High Court challenge that, if successful, would see every speed camera fine ever issued in NSW overturned. 

The Association Against Speed Measuring Devices is fundraising to launch the case, which will seek to negate the validity of the state's speed cameras by proving that speed cameras do not have ''pattern approval'' as required by federal legislation.

The group formulating the legal challenge includes solicitors Dr Robert Spence and Warwick Cottee, insurance investigator and OH&S expert Alan Crothers, IT consultant Steve Stocks, private detective John Bracey and one of two legal metrologists in Australia, Harold Thurgood. They say speed cameras in NSW do not have pattern approval and thus do not follow federal law and an international treaty on measuring devices.

In contrast, both the National Measurement Institute and NSW Attorney-General's Department said that speed cameras were not pattern approved because it was not compulsory for them to be under federal law, notwithstanding an international treaty saying the opposite.

Last year, a Victorian Supreme Court judge made rejected a motorist's attempt to use this legal argument stating that:

''[t]he relevant regulations are … permissive in character. A person may apply for approval or certification of a pattern or of an individual measuring instrument, but it is not mandatory.''

1 million people were fined for speeding in NSW last financial year, raising over $247 million. The Association needs to raise $300 000 for their challenge. So far they have raised just $1000.

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