Here is a story that shows, you don't need deep pockets, be or have a lawyer.
Beat speeding fines
REPORTER: Chris Allen
BROADCAST DATE: September 10, 2003
One motorist is challenging hand-held speed cameras.
Scott Cooper has beaten the speeding gun: he challenged a speeding fine in court and won. Now he wants other motorists to know they too can challenge a fine if they think they've been unfairly pinged.
Called a "light, speed and ranging detection device", or LIDAR, the laser gun is supposed to get an absolute fix on a speeding car which cannot be disputed - but Mr Cooper says this is not the case.
Last December he was driving down a busy road on Queensland's Sunshine Coast when he was pulled over by a cop who said he was doing 79km in a 60km zone - but the cop pinged him from 250m away.
Engineer Dr Wolfgang Garwoli is an expert on speeding devices and has given evidence in court which has helped people beat them.
He says it is unlikely the gun could be accurate from such a distance.
"The gun will certainly be accurate well over that range but the policeman will not," he said.
Mr Cooper says he felt compelled to challenge the fine but never thought he would win the case.
"When I found out about the operation of the thing, not knowing all the facts, I still decided to take them on," he said.
The day he was booked Mr Cooper took photos of the scene and then started to ask questions about the LIDAR; he found the laser gun has a positive and negative reading.
When he cross-examined the policeman in court, he says the policeman couldn't answer whether or not he'd checked to see if the car was coming towards him or moving in the other direction.
Worse still, Mr Cooper says police admit the laser gun doesn't have a telescopic sight and has a margin of error over long distances.
Police refused to comment on the case, which doesn't surprise Dr Garwoli.
"I think the current indications are that the use of all these devices is simply a mechanism for raising state revenue and not for improving safety on the roads," he said.
Mr Cooper says it only cost him $60 to fight the case in court himself and recommends everyone should do the same if they think they're innocent.
To contact Dr Wolfgang Garwoli send a letter to your local Today Tonight office.
To contact Scott Cooper call 0419 536 975