Hi Lifehacker, I just received a speeding fine for being 10km over in a school zone. I don't deny I was over the speed limit — however I wasn't in the school zone yet. The cop was sitting right at the school zone sign so really got me going 5km over in a 50 zone, but he said it doesn't matter as he said I wouldn't have slowed down anyway. Is there any point me going to court? Thanks, Speed Limited
So you admit to breaking the signposted speed limit, but maintain you were outside the school zone at the time of the booking, correct? We imagine this would be pretty tricky to argue in court. Judges generally aren't interested in haggling the specifics with a proven offender.
With that said, you certainly shouldn't be penalised for a crime you didn't commit. If the cop wanted to bust you for speeding in a school zone, he should have waited until you entered it. If he stopped your car beforehand, you obviously couldn't have committed the crime you've been accused of.
Unfortunately, without any video evidence to back you up, it will basically be your word against theirs. The cops could simply accuse you of lying in an attempt to avoid the double demerits and stiffer fine.
We don't fancy your chances but there's probably no harm in trying. We've looked at the pros and cons of contesting a traffic fine in the past: you can pick up some general advice here, here and here. If you choose to go down this road, the main caveat is that you can potentially cop an even larger fine for wasting the court's time. This is pretty rare though, thankfully. In most cases, either the fine will be quashed or your case will simply be dismissed.
If you have an exemplary driving record, you might get lucky: but we wouldn't count on it. If any readers have been through similar issues, let SL know how you handled it in the comments section below.
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