David Woolmer successfully appealed his red light fine in the South Australian Supreme Court. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker
David Woolmer successfully appealed his red light fine in the South Australian Supreme Court. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker

How driver beat red light camera fine

South Australia's fixed traffic camera system has been thrown into question after a driver successfully appealed his red light fine in the Supreme Court.

David Woolmer was booked for running a red light arrow at Beulah Park, east of the CBD, in March 2018.

The Magistrates Court upheld the fine, but Justice Greg Parker overturned it on the basis that the camera had never been legally tested.

In a judgment handed down last week, he said regulations required the cameras to be tested with cars crossing through the intersection on a red light.

He ruled that the camera had not been checked in line with those requirements.

"I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the appellant has provided proof contrary to the facts asserted in the certificate," Justice Parker wrote.

"I uphold the appeal and quash the finding of the magistrate... I quash the appellant's conviction."

The decision may pave the way for other motorists to appeal their red light tickets using the same argument.

When a fine is challenged in court, a "Certificate of Testing and Operation" can be produced to prove the legitimacy of the infringement.

But Justice Parker found that the fine cannot be upheld without a valid and legally sound certificate.

The recent Supreme Court decision may pave the way for other motorists to appeal their red light tickets using the same argument. Picture: AAP/Russell Millard
The recent Supreme Court decision may pave the way for other motorists to appeal their red light tickets using the same argument. Picture: AAP/Russell Millard

 

The lower court had accepted the police argument that it was impossible to safely conduct testing that captured cars breaking the rules.

The judge said it would be possible, however some rules may need to change.

"I doubt the correctness of the suggestion by the respondent that it may not be possible to amend the regulations or the Australian Road Rules to authorise police to commit what would otherwise be an offence to facilitate testing of photographic detection devices," he said.

Justice Parker said police might also consider expanding their testing process, or using different equipment.

Originally published as How driver beat red light camera fine


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