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I’m Getting A Ticket For What???

copcarI’m sure that the powers that be for traffic control have a quota system going. There can’t be any other explanation for it. Why else would they hand out tickets for tiny little things seemingly at random? Why else would the people who do the roadworthiness tests fail vehicles for teeny little things? Why else would the drivers’ licence testing people fail people for very, very minor issues – which may have nothing to do with the driving? You know perfectly well that on other days, there would be no problem at all.

Blame Key Performance Indicators and all that management hooey.  Traffic cops, inspectors and testers have to be Seen To Be Doing Their Job, which means that they have to find something to fail or ticket to justify their jobs. I kind of understand this, as when I’m not having fun writing driving-related blogs, I work as a proofreader; picking out a missing full stop or a typo the spell-checker missed shows the client that I actually did do some work. The difference, however, is that my clients want error-free reports and research papers, so are happy to get barely noticeable typos picked up, whereas nobody wants to be ticketed or failed.

I’m sure these picky little fails and tickets have happened to you.  They certainly have happened to people I know.  Here’s a selection:

  • The cop who ticketed an elderly woman for “driving without her seatbelt” because she had turned the engine on before putting her seatbelt on (to warm up the engine of her little old hatchback on a cold winter’s day, naturally).
  • A teenager sitting their provisional licence test who failed because he didn’t stop for “long enough” at a stop sign, even though the road was quiet.
  • Another teenager who turned up to the licence test in a farm vehicle that smelt of dogs and substances on the bottom of gumboots even after having a good clean out (said teenager had come into town from rural area, as this was the only place to sit the test). Squeamish townie tester decided the car wasn’t in adequate condition for the test = fail.
  • The cop who gave my other half a ticket for driving too slowly while towing a heavily loaded trailer.  This happened not too far away from a road packed with those billboards warning people about excess speed.
  • My friend’s car failed a roadworthiness test because of a bit of stick-on window tint that was deemed to be “too dark” and obscuring the driver’s vision… although it was on a rear window more or less in the driver’s blind spot and had been applied to keep my friend’s red-haired, pale-skinned little kids out of the strong summer sunlight.
  • The cop who we saw coming the other direction but, after we had gone past, decided to turn around and follow us for the next 20 or so kilometres until the other half’s attention went off the speedo for a few seconds and the Volvo crept over the speed limit. Actual quote from said cop:  “You weren’t going much over the limit when I clocked you but I could tell that you were going to go faster.”  What – do they fit cop cars out with crystal balls as well as speed cameras these days?

So here’s your chance to have a bit of a rant.  What teeny little things did you get pulled up and fined for or failed for?  Tell us about them (but please keep names and easily identified places out of it or we might be looking at lawsuits and we’d rather not have the hassle).

Safe and happy driving (hopefully without tickets),



  1. Justin Hurley says:

    Queens Birthday weekend: start of the snow season and the last weekend before many four wheel drive tracks are closed for summer.
    A task force was set up in town to stop seemingly every four wheel drive and find fault. A common item is LED light bars. These lights provide excellent lighting to supplement high beam lights, but, because the legislation is out of date with technology, and it is near impossible to work out if the lights are allowed to be attached to vehicles or not.

    And if that isn’t bad enough, you might be legal in one state, but then illegal in another state.

    August 24th, 2015 at 1:10 pm

  2. Paul Denmeade says:

    Hi . I was booked for failing to keep left on a freeway after the cop claimed he followed me for 10km ( which he obviously didn’t) when I had to pull out to the right to overtake another vehicle and got in his way.He said and I quote “It was “the flavour of the month offence”
    also My wife was booked for crossing a solid line on a divided road after entering the road from the right and thinking she was doing the right thing by moving over to the left hand side..
    Also booked for parking outside the white lines when forced to by another car who mis- parked. Paul

    August 24th, 2015 at 1:25 pm

  3. Bart says:

    Why not do those inspectors cops check vehicles with very noisy exhaust system, especial those who go through the streets at 2 to 5 AM. Thy can make a fortne!!

    August 24th, 2015 at 2:20 pm

  4. Phil Watts says:

    It is about revenue! Cops don’t have a ‘budget’ as such but if they don’t get an expected number of fines and S$ value they are told they are not doing their job! When seat belt law was introduced, they did not have to be worn if travelling under 25kph or reversing. Now you can be fined even if the car is stationary, as with this old lady. The change was made very quietly. Most cops are reasonable but it is up to us to get the law ‘rolled back’ to the original intent and not be just an easy revenue raising exercise.

    August 24th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

  5. David says:

    I got booked the one night I parked my car facing against the traffic in my super-quiet suburban street. It’s the kind of street that gets one car every half hour so the odds of getting a cop….

    August 24th, 2015 at 2:22 pm

  6. Paul says:

    Would not matter how many “Tickets for what ?? ” stories there are. You can’t put brains into the statues of some Police and Traffic officers, that are lowly paid, under worked and bored to death in their jobs, and that we as drivers, are easy pickings, and easy revenue, for the Government’s coffers. If tickets were to deter and penalise drivers for bad driver behaviour, then loss of points should be enough to deter a driver? Why Fine them as well|? No matter how much money you have, you still lose your licence if you lose all your points…
    Quota system = revenue …. that’s all it’s about !

    August 24th, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  7. Bill says:

    Like the cop who booked me for changing lanes in front of him as we approached a red light. Our speed was no more than 20-30 Km/h and there was about 50 meters distance between our cars when I indicated changing lanes and moved across slowly while allowing my car to drift to a stop behind the queue of vehicles waiting at the lights. We both gently (hardly using any brakes) came to a stop at the lights when the cop surprised me with an angry beep of his horn, then about 200 meters past the traffic lights he decided to pull me over and turned on his lights and siren. When I stopped he asked for my license (which was in order), then he breathalyzed me (I produced a result of Zero alcohol) and said I had nearly caused an accident by changing lanes unexpectedly and in a dangerous manner, I dared to politely disagree with his assessment. He said the only reason we did not have an accident was because of his superior driving skills as a senior highway patrol officer in the area. He was quite full of his self importance and went back to his car to check my driving record. Five minutes later he returned with a sly grin on his face and said “you have a very good driving record driver, and your license has lost no points, but I’m still going to book you’, issuing me with a ticket. When I protested that this was not fair and indicated I might take the matter to court, he scoffed and said, “I wouldn’t do that if I was you, I have it all on camera and you can’t win’. I spoke with a solicitor who said if I had money to burn or was about to lose my license it would be worth fighting in court, but otherwise I should forget it. Which I did, but it did nothing to enhance my opinion of the law or that feeling this was more about revenue raising or quotas than keeping our roads safe. FYR I have driven over 1 million Km accident free in Australia, America and Europe and IMHO I am a considerate and careful driver who looks out for others as well as myself on the roads.

    August 24th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  8. Darren says:

    Coppers and politicians can deny it all they like, but it has been known for years they operate on a quota system. And don’t get me started on coppers pulling people up for alleged illegal modifications. It is simply ludicrous how they can instantly be an expert on engineering matters.

    August 24th, 2015 at 3:19 pm

  9. Vic Blizzard says:

    Time to fight back!

    If we, as the Australian motoring public, sit back and cop it sweet, we deserve all we get.

    I strongly suggest that everyone seriously consider signing up with Aussie Speeding Fines – don’t let the name fool you, they have all the information for you to fight back against all these outrageous fines, thereby saving thousands in fines and protecting you license.

    Check them out here:

    You owe it to yourself.

    August 24th, 2015 at 4:51 pm

  10. Jeanette says:

    Ten years ago, my sister was pulled over by a young Cop after passing through a set of traffic lights and accused of using her mobile phone whilst driving. As her phone was still at her office, she denied the accusation. He was adamant he had seen her doing so! She suggested he search her car, handbag etc as she had no phone with her. He was most disgruntled; said he “would let her off this time and she was not to do it again”!!

    August 24th, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  11. ian anderson says:

    Has anyone ever thought about the insidious ramifications of our system financing itself through fines. The conscience ,or lack of it, required to take a few hundred dollars off a person for a trivial breach of the letter, but not the spirit of the law, then what would that same ethic decide when it comes to corrupt opportunism.

    August 24th, 2015 at 5:33 pm

  12. Greg says:

    Yes, you are right they have quota’s etc same with parking inspectors,
    Doesn’t worry me as i contest every fine we receive, and have won every case.
    drag it on for years etc by writing your 1st letter and then your 2nd and finally the 3rd, if they don’t give up go to court, it cost then 10 times that amount that they fined you for if you lose.
    And if by chance you do lose in court, you only pay the initial fine, they cannot add a cost when have not found guilty yet.

    August 24th, 2015 at 5:47 pm

  13. ern stroud says:

    When I went for my motorcycle licence in North Sydney, a mate of mine told me he had failed because he done a U turn where the examiner told him to and then he got a Fail because he crossed the Double White Lines. Knowing this, when I fronted up and the examiner told me to do a U turn in exactly the same place(Must have been the same bloke) so I carried on until there was a break in the doubles and then made my U turn, When I got back to the examiner he failed me for not obeying his instructions. No matter my argument about the Double Whites he still failed me. This speaks volumes for your point.

    August 24th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

  14. Paul Johnson says:

    Darren, how many police are there in Australia (or even in one state)?

    I am no more fond of over-policing than anyone else who reads this site, but to suggest that there is a quota system, and to also suggest that none of these police have ever been prepared to come forward and admit to a quota system is just arrant nonsense (and reeks of US style UFO conspiracy theories).

    August 24th, 2015 at 9:01 pm

  15. Joseph Buhagiar says:

    If nay one can remember why the NRMA was set up we may get better treatment from this type of self defence by immature Police Officers.
    We loose if any ticket is issued because to defend in court it cost you at least $55 ie court cost.
    In my case $7000 and it was this new criminal law that says “you may have intended to intimidate the other driver” used against me for driving into my property while next door was on the other side of the gates on my property with bolt cutters trying to cut the chain. statement taken by Police 5 days after the event (so we could fabricate evidence/statement -edit video of the event as well). Magistrate judgement the Act and hence summons was not applicable as I was off the road on my driveway and credibility of accuser was questionable. Police interviewed me for the offense in September while the alleged offense took place on 23 Apr. Why the action by police? He was doing my next door neighbour a favour to intimidate and bully me to sell him some land as he can’t use his shed without driving through my property. The shed was deliberately erected without Council consent of effect the acquisition of the land in front of it. Letters to Police to charge the neighbour with trespass have gone unheeded for 3 years eventhough they gave me their own sign to affix to the gates about trespass. Underlying problem is accountability and I now go back to the NRMA who use to be the only voice on our behalf.
    cheers everyone we got a few coins but lost our communal power as a corporation.

    August 25th, 2015 at 10:35 am