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Old 09-15-2003, 20:14   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

///Some words copied from an email I sent to another FF.com member. Thought I'd post these words here for some of you to think about whether the average car owner is open to getting done over///

The law is fatally flawed for both speed cameras and more importantly hoon laws.

In both cases the prosecution is driven towards the car owner. The
police have no ability to decide (or detect) on the difference between
the car owner and the person committing the offence. It would be like
owning a kitchen knife which was used in a murder - they don't lock you
up just because you owned a knife found at the murder scene do they?
They have to prove that it was you who used the knife to commit the
offence.

Further, in the case of hoon laws the owner of the vehicle can be
massively punished for something they were not aware of nor had
anything to do with. Say I had a company and I supplied a car to an
employee for their work purposes. They get done under hoon laws and the car is confiscated for 3 or more months. Why do I, or the legal entity
that owns the car, get punished?

The above points out the fact that our law makers seem to be driven by
hysteria and cannot allow themselves the objective views and
consideration applied to other areas of law.

It seems the motorist, and more importantly the vehicle owner, is
deprived of the presumption of innocence.
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Old 09-15-2003, 20:27   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Here, f*cking here! There is just too much of a seperation in the views of certain laws. They'll argue that they are in different circumstances (of course) but when it comes down to the point, they are not.

Speeding is the easiest trap in order to fool anyone. Why should I have to pay for a photo to be produced in order to prove my innocence? Isn't something stated in the FEDERAL Fair Trading Act about something of this kind? I think it is.

But these days some things are just going too far. No wonder they are tolling the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway. Would have received the federal funding if it weren't for that! And then Bachelor comes up and says "Of course the public want something for free". Well what do you think you arrogant prick!? Pay for a piece of road that I never built or had nothing to do with except for using it? You could pay a fair chunk of it with your superannuation and post-retirement pay!

(Breathe in, breathe out)

/rant
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Old 09-15-2003, 20:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Good point, especially with the kitchen knife analogy. However if it is a company car they may take into account that you as the owner still are responsible for the actions taken by the employee.
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Old 09-15-2003, 21:49   #4 (permalink)
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So where does the responsibility for the action come in? A company should have a $50,000+ asset confiscated because someone you employed squeals the tyres away from the lights? I suppose the company would be expected to sack the driver then too. You've got to be kidding...

Following that logic, if I take my company car out and run someone down the company that provided the car is resposible for what, manslaughter?

Everytime I read about these ridiculous laws it makes me sick. I've seen a guy get a $1500 fine and a good behaviour bond for beating someone almost to death with a wine bottle, and some poor bastard has his $20,000 car taken, a $1200 fine, loss of license and ends up losing his job cause he has to have a license. All because he's having a bit of fun in an empty carpark in a deserted industrial area at night... sounds fair to me.
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Old 09-15-2003, 21:59   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Don't flame me, it isn't my logic. I'm suggesting that may be the revenue raiser's view
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Old 09-15-2003, 23:52   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry - wasn't meant to come out that way.

Just seems like drivers are targeted for everything because:
A: They have money
B: Are easily identified and tracked by their cars
C: Are usually law abiding people, who don't like to make a fuss.

Its time to make a fuss.
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Old 09-16-2003, 01:21   #7 (permalink)
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Some food for thought....
The definition of a LAW is what the majority of people deem to be acceptable....
ie people think its wrong to steal......stealing is illegal
people think its wrong to kill others.....murder is illegal
these "laws" are drafted by politicians who supposedly represent the "majority" of the population. That being the case why is it then that something like 85% (A CLEAR majority) admit to speeding??(doesn't this indicate the majority believe the speeding laws are wrong??)
Simple facts of the matter - "Staysafe committees" whose major representatives are insurance company persons(who make a profit by reducing the cost of car accidents - lower speeds = less repair costs & larger profits) have a HUGE say in the speeding laws.
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Old 09-16-2003, 05:04   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

I've often thought the same thing Law is supposed to represent what the majority of the people believe is right & wrong & I don't think alot of road & car rules are truely representative of peoples opinion but because of years of propaganda from the RTA etc people follow them for the most part don't question them.
It's not the 1st time in history popular opinion has been corrupted by leaders with alterior motives tho i guess.
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Old 09-16-2003, 05:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Other side of law is the concept of the fraud upon the minority and the concept of equity and justice to all. That being said and done, just because 85% of people admit to speeding that it should make it legal, thats a rather micro approach.

The matter with reckless speeding is the danger of risk upon another party - if the government said tomorrow lets make the highways 150kmh, there will be hell to pay - each person has a duty of care to one another. The problem is, many road users do not realise this duty - and driver ed in this country is useless. You give a dickhead a car, they will crash it. You give that same dickhead a car, all things being equal, in a higher speed zone, and they will be more likely to make a mess of it.
I know speed isnt always a factor - but until we manage to beat into drivers the importance of thinking ahead and responsibility, you can't do much towards raising the speed limits.

Im not saying that they should be lowered, I think that a certain degree of commonsense needs to prevail.

As for speed cameras - thats blantent revenue raising. Other devices, such of those in europe, for instance once triggered, will cause the next set of lights upon a particular road to turn red, hence the trip turns out to be slower than speeding in the first place - if the govt had road safety as such an issue - it would identify bad drivers, it would have a better driver training, it would have a higher tollerance on speed limits given the use of fines as a deterant device, and it would employ other speed reducing devices that doesn't involve placing speed humps down the pacific highway.

AP - as for your issue of Onus on the driver - isn't this more because of the fact that speeding is a statutory strict liability offense, that the DPP need only prove Actus Reas (ie - your actions or responsibilities) and not mitigating circumstances as per mens rea? And wouldn't the onus on the owner really just be related to vicarious liability towards ownership of the possesion: its your car, its your responsibility; and thus its your responsibility upon who drives it.

I can see what your trying to get at

Last edited by dave_au; 09-16-2003 at 06:15.
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Old 09-16-2003, 13:40   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Car Owners Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Pete
///Some words copied from an email I sent to another FF.com member. Thought I'd post these words here for some of you to think about whether the average car owner is open to getting done over///

The law is fatally flawed for both speed cameras and more importantly hoon laws.

In both cases the prosecution is driven towards the car owner. The
police have no ability to decide (or detect) on the difference between
the car owner and the person committing the offence. It would be like
owning a kitchen knife which was used in a murder - they don't lock you
up just because you owned a knife found at the murder scene do they?
They have to prove that it was you who used the knife to commit the
offence.
We'll change the knife for a gun for arguments sake, shall we? As far as I'm aware, you can't register a knife in your name.

It has been awhile since I've been 'caught' breaking the speed limit, but last time I was, I'm almost certain there was a section on the back that you could fill in to nominate who the driver in the car was. This was the case ~10 years ago when my missus went through a speed trap 25ks over. Ticket got sent to me, filled in the details, points were taken off her licence (but I still had to pay the smegging fine...).

A gun registered in your name is found at the scene of a crime. Who do you think would be the first person the police would interview in this instance? On that evidence alone you certainly wouldn't be convicted for the crime in court.

I don't think the average car owner would be too concerned about anti-hoon laws (but I thought you had to be caught 'in the act' to get done), and because of the way the law is structured, the average car owner *should* know who is in possession of their car at all times. As an average car owner, I certainly would know who would be in the drivers seat of my car when it wasn't me. If the car is confiscated from the owner when the car was in possession of another person at the time of the 'hoon' and that 'hoon' is caught red handed, then I would be screaming and kicking if the car can be confiscated from the owner.

Tolerances should be looked at, certainly in Vic from what I hear. But the majority of the roads that I travel on are clearly signposted. And while you could spend the next year debating the merits of whether speed limits are fair or not, I'd prefer to travel on roads with posted speed limits where the majority stick to around that speed than what would happen if there were no posted limits. Furthermore, if these laws weren't being policed, then the laws would be useless.

If you're caught 15 over on a clearly posted road, cop it sweet. You may not have been public enemy #1 at the time but presumably you were a licenced driver who was required to pass a written and driving test to obtain the priveledge to drive on Australian roads.

Let the dissecting of my character begin.
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