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ADDRESS

DATE

Civic Compliance Victoria


GPO Box 1916
Melbourne
Victoria 3001

Infringement Notice Number 00000000


The text in this letter is written around a 70km/h speed limit. It should be adjusted to
suit the speed zone. Refer to text highlighted in blue.
Note that the arguments regarding 10% tolerance can only be used if your vehicle was
registered prior to 1st July 2006. The arguments regarding the National Measurement
Act will still apply.
This letter is to apply for an Internal Review of the Infringement Notice. With respect to this
Infringement Notice it is my contention that there has been no offence committed under the
Road Safety Act 1986 (the "Act") and the Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999 ("the General
Regulations". Set out below are the reasons for this assertion.
In summary, when determining the alleged speed, allowance has been made for the
instrumentation error of the speed measuring device of 3% or 3km/h, as required by the
General Regulations, but not the error of the General Regulations compliant instrumentation
fitted to the vehicle alleged to be speeding.
A mistake of fact has been made by the operator of the speed measuring device, together
with the opportunity to correct this mistake, however this has not been afforded to myself.
When taking into account both the allowable vehicle instrumentation error and the speed
measurement device error, both applicable under the Regulations, the measured speed of
78km/h is within the allowable tolerance of +10km/h for a 70km/h speed zone. The correct
calculation of alleged speed should be 68 km/h, not 75km/h as shown on the notice.
If the vehicle has been deemed suitable for registration in Victoria, then the instrumentation
provided for monitoring of vehicle speed must be deemed suitable for the task of complying
with the Regulations and any error in that instrumentation must be taken into consideration,
as is done with the speed detection equipment.
It was my assertion that if a motorist has been using a Regulation approved and registered
vehicle, and had not exceed the specified tolerances of the Regulation compliant safety
equipment fitted to that vehicle, then it is not reasonable to hold a person responsible for
being in breach of Legislation when they are using equipment made compulsory by that
Legislation.
I highlight several issues that form the basis of this view:
To qualify for registration in Victoria my vehicle must be fitted with a speedometer
that is accurate ±10% and is deemed to meet safety standards and to be suitable for

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road use under the Regulations. The same Regulations that define the requirement to
observe speed limits.
There has been no advice from VicRoads at the time of vehicle registration, or issue of
my drivers license permit, that the speedometer fitted to my vehicle is not suitable for
monitoring vehicle speed and complying with requirements of the Act with respect to
speed limits.
Victorian Police submissions to the Victorian Parliament confirm my view.
The Victorian Government is aware of this issue, as evidenced by information on the
Victorian Parliament web site.
My view has been supported the Melbourne Magistrates Court on a previous
occasion and all fines and costs waived.
I also have concerns that the speed measuring device used to allege the speed of my vehicle
may not be an approved legal measurement device under the National Measurement Act
1960. In order that I may correctly assess my options in the event that you decline this
application, I seek you assurance by return correspondence that the speed measuring device:
Has been certified as a legal measuring instrument under the National Measurement
Act 1960, by an appointed legal metrology certifying authority appointed by the
Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, National
Measurement Institute (NMI).
Has an approved pattern of measurement obtained from the National Measurement
Institute.
Has a certificate as evidence the speed measuring device has been tested, or the
testing was supervised, by a Verifying Authority appointed by the National
Measurements Institute under the National Measurement Act 1960 to verify reference
standards of measurement.
Has been tested for accuracy by an orgainsation that have been appointed as a
Verifying Authority by the NMI under the National Measurement Act 1960
A detailed analysis follows;

Speed Measurement Device Error


The Speed Measurement Device error correction is stated on the Notice as “The alleged speed
is 3km/h less than the detected speed or 3% less if over 100km/h”.
This is in line with Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999:- 306. Testing of speed measuring
devices (ii).
It is also in line with Australian Standard’s 2898 and 4691, which detail the manufacture,
testing and operational requirements of this equipment.
However it should be noted that this correction is not what is commonly termed “The
Legislated tolerance”, but is a “error” correction according to the requirements of Victorian
Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999 section 306 that states that detection equipment shall

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“indicate speed readings within a limit of error not greater than or less than 3 kilometres per hour or
3 per cent”.
As a matter of record; the word “tolerance” is only used once in the Victorian Road Safety
(General) Regulations 1999 in 410. Prescribed limits of error for dynamic axle weighing devices.

Does the National Measurement Act apply to the Victorian Road


Safety Act?
It is interesting to note the following:
In the Victorian Road Safety Act 1986 the word "speed" is used 73 times.
In the Road Safety (General) Regulations 1999 the word "speed" is used 89 times.
In neither of the above documents is there a definition of "speed".
The definition of "speed" is found in the National Measurement Regulations 1999 in
Schedule 1 - Australian legal units of measurement, Part 4 - Additional derived units of
measurement, item 4.17 where velocity and speed is defined as a base unit of metre per
second (m/s)
A conclusion that can be drawn is that if the Victorian Road Safety Act contains
statements such as "an excessive speed infringement under section 89A of the Act ", then the
definition of the word "speed" is fundamental to the application of the Victorian Road
Safety Act.
If the definition of "speed" is with in the National Measurement Regulations, then those
Regulations and Act must underpin the Victorian Road Safety Act. Consequently any
requirements of the National Measurement Act and Regulations must apply.
It is also interesting to note that whilst the Victorian Road Safety (General) Regulations
contain a section titled "306. Testing of speed measuring devices", this section does not
preclude the National Measurement Act or specify an alternative testing standard. The
Victorian Road Safety Act and Regulations are silent on the qualifications of the testers
and details of any tests to be undertaken, rather they only specify required accuracy.
It is also noted that the Australian Constitution states:
s109. When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the
Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the
extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.
The National Measurement Act 1960 states under Part I—Preliminary, 3 Interpretation,
legal measuring instrument means a measuring instrument used, or
intended for use, in the determination of a physical quantity:
(a) for:
(i) law enforcement; or
(ii) demonstrating compliance, or lack of compliance,
with a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or
Territory; or

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Advice from VicRoads
I am not in possession of any advice from VicRoads that the speedometer fitted to my
vehicle, which was first registered for use on Victorian roads in 2004, is not suitable for
monitoring speed in relation to the requirements of the Act.
I do note that in 1994 the Victorian Government Road Safety Committee undertook an
"Inquiry Into The Demerit Points Scheme", published in November 1994. One of the
recommendations of the Committee in their report was:

Recommendation 3
The Victoria Police and VicRoads (together with relevant Government agencies)
develop a public awareness campaign alerting drivers need to check the
accuracy of vehicle speedometers. (Paragraph 3.13)

In 1995 the Victorian Government published a response to the Committees report and
stated:

Response
This recommendation is supported. VicRoads will collaborate with the Victoria
Police to develop a suitable public awareness campaign This will include
collating information about the accuracy of speedometers and producing and
disseminating written guidance for motorists. The details of the campaign will be
determined and a proposal reported to the Government by the end of 1995. Other
Government and non-Government agencies will be involved as appropriate.

Reference: Monash University Accident Research Centre The Victorian


Parliamentary Road Safety Committee – A History of Inquiries and Outcomes refer to
page 182 of the PDF downloadable version of the report.

As this awareness campaign has not been undertaken, I can only assume that VicRoads
has considered the task unnecessary and that the Regulations adequately define the
requirements with respect to speedometers and their use to monitor speed as required
by the Regulations.

Vehicle Instrumentation
There is no statement of tolerance provided in the relevant Act or Regulations, therefore
it is logical that the tolerance permitted on the vehicle instrumentation must apply. This
precedent is provided on the Infringement Notice which nominates a correction for
error on the speed detection device.
The requirements covering vehicle instrumentation are set out in the Act’s Regulations
and therefore should be taken into consideration as the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations
1999 define requirements for registration of a vehicle suitable for operation on the roads
being monitored for compliance.

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The Road Safety Act 1986, Division 2—Registration, 5. Purposes of registration states: "The
purposes of registration are— (a) to ensure that the design, construction and equipment of motor
vehicles and trailers which are used on a highway meet safety and environmental standards;"
The Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 1999 contain Schedule 8 - Vehicle Standards - Part
One Introductory - which is states “This Schedule contains the Vehicle Standards that form the
standards for registration under the Road Safety Act 1986.”
Further the states that "The objectives of these Regulations are—
that vehicles are appropriately registered having regard to whether they meet
standards for registration.....
to ensure that when vehicles are used on highways they are safe for use and are
used in a safe manner....." (page 1)
Within Schedule 8 - Part 3 - Australian Design Rules it states that if a Second or Third
Edition "ADR applies to the design and construction of a vehicle, the vehicle must comply with
the ADR."
The Victorian Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 1999 states in 202 Eligible vehicles that at a
vehicle is eligible for registration if it "complies with the provisions of standards for
registration that apply to the vehicle", and evidence of compliance can be taken as stated in
“203. Compliance with standards for registration - an identification plate relating to the vehicle
”. In general this is an identification plate which states it is Australian Design Rule
compliant.
Within Schedule 8-Vehicle Standards it is stated that a vehicle complaint with Australian
Design Rules is considered suitable for registration under the Road Safety Act 1986 ,
specifically “This Schedule sets out standards that vehicles must comply with to be eligible for
unconditional registration and to be driven on roads and road related areas.”
Australian Design Rule 18/02 – Instrumentation specifies requirements for the provision
and location of certain 'Visual Indicators' and also specifies requirements for
speedometers and odometers. This document states "every vehicle must be fitted with a
speedometer which must:, Indicate vehicle speed only in kilometers per hour; and indicate the
actual vehicle speed, for all speeds above 40km.h, to an accuracy of ± 10%."
It is important to note that in the commentary at the start of Schedule 8 - Vehicle
Standards it states that "In most cases, if a vehicle complies with the Vehicle Standards, it is
suitable for road use."
The following extract confirms the validity of this conclusion. This is taken from the
Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services, Review of Australian
Design Rule (ADR) 18 – Instrumentation, Regulation Impact Statement for Standards for
Instrumentation, Public Comment Draft Sept 2003 : “The ADR requires visual indicators to
meet specific location requirements and provides detailed visibility requirements for visual
indicators for passenger cars and three wheeled passenger vehicles. It also provides technical
requirements for speedometers and odometers and one particular aspect is that it allows a
tolerance on the indicated speed of + 10%. This means that the vehicle could be traveling
10% faster than the indicated speed, thereby exposing motorists to inadvertently exceeding speed
limits. This has become a particular problem as jurisdictions tighten up on their speed
enforcement regimes, reducing their tolerances below the ADR allowed tolerance.”

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Victorian Police View
The Victorian Parliamentary website has available for download by the public the
Victorian Parliament Walking Safely - Report of the Road Safety Committee on the Inquiry into
the Incidence and Prevention of Pedestrian Accidents.
In this report on page 25 we find record of the following submission in correspondence
from Assistant Commissioner, R. N. Shuey, Victoria Police:

However in evidence to the Committee it was found that speed tolerances are
permitted by the Australian Design Rules on vehicle speedometers. In
correspondence the Victoria Police stated that:

Australian Design Rules (ADR's) 18/00 at 18.5.1.1. states, Unless


otherwise `approved' every vehicle shall be fitted with a
speedometer which shall:

18.5.1.1.1 indicate vehicle speed only in kilometres per hour, and

18.5.1.1.2 indicate the actual vehicle speed, for speeds above 40


km/h, to an accuracy of +/- 10 percent.

And we find that the committee concluded:


In addition to the ADR, Victoria Police are required by legislation to add a
further 3 km/h when speeding drivers are detected by speed cameras.
Therefore, in a 60 km/h zone drivers will not be booked for speeding until
they reach speeds of 70 km/h or higher. For laser or radar detectors the
legislation allows a 2 km/h leniency.

Victorian Government Awareness


The very fact that the Victorian Parliament Walking Safely - Report of the Road Safety
Committee on the Inquiry into the Incidence and Prevention of Pedestrian Accidents was
prepared by a Parliamentary committee, and that the report is available to the public
from the Parliamentary website, is proof that the Government is well aware of the
situation that should apply.

Melbourne Magistrates Court


The facts outlined in this letter were put to the Melbourne Magistrates Court on the 10th
February 2005 (Case Number S02748905). Taking into consideration the defendants
submission, Magistrate Marron decided not to apply any fines or costs, and undertook
to take the matter to legal committee.

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Overall Error Allowance
Statistical mathematics dictates that errors are cumulative, i.e. if two instruments have an
error tolerance, then they are added to obtain the overall error. In this case the calculation is
as follows;
The vehicle instrument error is ±10%.
Therefore the vehicle can travel at 77km/h and be considered to be traveling at 70km/h.
The speed measurement equipment error is +3%,
Therefore the speed measurement equipment can read 80km/h when the vehicle is
considered to be traveling at 77km/h
Deduction
The speed measurement equipment must register a speed of 81km/h taking into
consideration the error tolerance of all instrumentation before a vehicle can be considered to
have exceed the nominal 70km/h speed limit.

Conclusion
Based on the above and the information on the Infringement Notice, it would appear that it
is claimed the speed measuring equipment registered a speed of 78km/h.
A precedent has been set to acknowledge the error of instrumentation by making allowance
for the speed measurement equipment error, but the corresponding allowance has not been
made for the Regulation complaint instrumentation in the vehicle.
When taking both the allowable vehicle instrumentation error and the speed measurement
device error into account, both applicable under the Regulations, the measured speed of the
vehicle is 68km/h and within the allowable tolerance to be considered to be traveling within
the nominated speed limit of 70km/h. Therefore no offence has been committed, no fine is
due and no demerit points applicable.
Please review the above and advise if any further action is required.

Sincerely

John Smith

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