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motor cyclist beats lidar

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thought this was an interesting story, it's nice to see someone have a win against the system for once.


Was it 149km/h or 76km/h? Biker's barrister father wins $60,000 battle to beat speed charge


A motorbike enthusiast has spent more than $60,000 to prove he was not driving at 90km/h over the speed limit in the Royal National Park.

John Busuttil, 29, was charged with riding his Suzuki 1000cc motorbike at 149km/h in a 60km/h zone on Lady Wakehurst Drive in May last year.

He faced a fine of $1744 and a six-month suspension of his driver's licence.


In the Sydney District Court today, Judge Greg Woods quashed the conviction and returned Mr Busuttil's licence, finding the highway patrol officer's use of a radar gun was "radically wrong".

Judge Woods also awarded Mr Busuttil costs, to be determined next month.

The court heard Senior Constable Matthew Chaplin detected Mr Busuttil's bike travelling at 149km/h using a LIDAR gun.

However, the radar inside the patrol car was also operating, and it put the bike at a speed of 76km/h. The radar reading was recorded by an in-car video, which Mr Busuttil subpoenaed from police.

Mr Busuttil, who was represented by his barrister father Joe Busuttil, also engaged a surveyor and an internationally accredited radar expert, who gave evidence that it would have been impossible for the LIDAR gun to detect such a high speed at that point of the road.

The court heard that a LIDAR gun must be able to track a target in a straight line for three seconds in order to produce an accurate reading.

In June this year, Senior Constable Chaplin told Sutherland Local Court that he measured the stretch of road "hundreds of times" and it was 325 metres.

However, a report by a surveyor, tendered to the court, showed the line of sight from where Senior Constable Chaplin was standing was only 237 metres and the straight stretch of road was just 180 metres.

Senior Constable Chaplin had said the bike was still 150 metres away from where he was standing when the three-seconds lock was recorded.

Roy Zegers, who told the court he had 30 years' experience in radar equipment, said that distance would not be long enough for the LIDAR gun to get a reading if the bike was travelling at 149km/h.

In quashing the conviction, Judge Woods said: "The miscalculation by over 100 metres of the distance is extraordinary and fundamental."

He said the police officer would not have acted with malice but, in this case, it was correct to order Mr Busuttil's legal costs.

Outside the court, Mr Busuttil said he had spent 18 months and thousands of dollars to prove he was not speeding.

"It's cost a lot but it's worth it in the end," he said.

His father said police charged 22 drivers for speeding on Lady Wakehurst Drive on May 8, 2010, and 10 of them had their licences disqualified.

"I suspect there's something more going on here than just an error," he said.

He encouraged other drivers to challenge speeding fines if they believed they were not speeding.

"If you don't believe you were speeding, take them on."

Mr Busuttil's costs included about $40,000 in litigation costs, which were incurred by his father spending eight days and eight half-days in court at $3500 a day.

The rest of the costs were made up of the fees of solicitors, three expert witnesses and other expenses such as filing fees and court costs.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/was-it-149kmh-or-76kmh-bikers-barrister-father-wins-60000-battle-to--beat-speed-charge-20111026-1mjce.html#ixzz1bryoRxxV


Since this sort of thing seems to be a pretty common topic here are some other links that people may find useful.






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he's still 60k out of pocket. so the government probably made more out of that in court fees than the original speeding fine.


but on a good note it is good to see someone overcome the law.

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he was awarded costs and his barrister was his father, in reality he's not out of pocket at all.


It also has the benefit of creating precedents for people to use in there own defenses, and gives you some ideas on how to go about defending somthing yourself so these sort of cases are usually a pretty good thing all round.

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see its cool and bullshit at the same time, yeah he beat it but the amount of time and bullshit he had to go through i would just cop it on the chin for 6 months, seriously, but then again my daddy isnt a lawyer


HOWEVER awesome due to precedent being created i love australian law sometimes

Edited by turkishskyline

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so bad police training lead to this?


No!!! Public apathy lead to this.


police receive plenty of training in to operational use of radar/lidar equipment but frequently fail to follow proper procedure because quite simply, they keep getting away with it.


With no public pressure for police accountability, people rarely willing to fight fines and not to mention the shear financial windfall for state coffers, there is really no need for them to follow proper operational procedures 99% of the time.

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