Speeding ticket in the mail from New Zealand

Old Feb 19th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Speeding ticket in the mail from New Zealand

My husband and I were surprised when he received a speeding ticket in the mail from a recent trip to New Zealand. It was taken with a speed camera and we were only going 11km over the speed limit. Do we really have to pay this ticket?
Nicci is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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>>>>>>Do we really have to pay this ticket?<<<<<<

An employee of my company, who did work stints in Dubai, flew there on his usual rotation. To his surprise, he was arrested upon landing. It turned out that he had forgotten to pay a bill during his previous stay there. He spent a few weeks in prison. Apparently the prison was clean, the food was decent, and he was treated politely. Nonetheless, after a great deal of hassle on the part of his Canadian family members and our company, the best that could be done was to have him released from prison and put on a plane bound for Canada with orders never to return to Dubai again.

I'm not saying New Zealand is like Dubai. In fact I've never been to New Zealand. But I wouldn't care which country I was dealing with. The potential consequences of an infraction such as you're contemplating are just not worth it, IMO.

At the very least, you could expect to be held up and questioned at customs and immigration next time you attempt to enter NZ. You may not think you want to visit NZ again, but you never know. Perhaps you might want to catch a flight to Australia that touches down in Auckland, or something like that.

Unpleasant as it undoubtedly will be to pay for the ticket, once it's done it's done, and you don't have to worry about this issue again. If you consider how much you paid for your entire trip, I bet this ticket would represent a small percentage of the total cost.

>>>>>>we were only going 11km over the speed limit<<<<<<

Just out of curiosity, at what point do you think it would be reasonable for you to pay the ticket? If you had been 20 km/ over the speed limit, 30 km/h, 50 km/h or what? I'm not expecting you to answer. From my point of view it's a hypothetical question. But perhaps you'll answer it in your own mind at least.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Fixed speed cameras are all over Aus and NZ (many of the Aus states) and I think they're wonderful. Basically, if you go over the speed limit, you WILL get fined. There's no "if there's a policeman around only" or "what are the chances". This means on major roads that if the speed limit is 90km, then the speed of traffic is 90km. Much safer than in the US.

You broke the law, so you have to pay.
PixieChick is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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Hi, Nicci!

Judy_in_Calgary's advice is exactly right, and, as usual, very well-expressed.

The point is. SOMEBODY has to pay. The fine will have been debited to the person or company who registered the car, so it will be they who have provided your name and address for forwarding. If you don't pay, then the company (or person)that hired the car to you will be liable, and that wouldn't really be fair, would it?

It's tough -- happened to me once in Western Australia, and I'd only had the car for about twelve minutes! -- but, as Judy says, as a proportion of your total holiday cost, it's probably nothing.
Alan is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Nicci - the same thing happened to a US guest of mine recently, except he was pulled up by the cops for exceeding the speed limit by 11Km. He emailed me after he returned to US and told me of the fine and asked if he could dispute it or ignore it. How he thought he could dispute it, I don't know, but I checked around to find out what would happen if he ignored it. I discovered that he ever returns to Australia he'll be nabbed at the airport and not allowed into the country until the fine is paid.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Nicci - the same thing greeted us on our return from Australia. And we were only 2 or 3 miles above the limit. While my partner wanted to dispute it, I responded:

"if you're not held up by Immigration should you ever return to Australia, think about your Avis account"

That sold him. He has business accounts with the major car rental companies and his responsibility was to pay the ticket, or Avis would have come back to him after they were charged by the traffic department in MEL.

Like the good citizen of the world that he is, the check went into the mail. Today we keep a copy of the ticket in our photo album - as a reminder.

So, pay the ticket!

To date, the only country we've traveled to and driven in that might consider a speeding ticket, and then only if you're at minimum 20 miles above the limit, is France.
Old Feb 19th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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You earned it, you should pay it.
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Feb 28th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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Hi Nicci

One of the things that I first noticed about Oz was that everyone was driving 5 km under the posted limit. We are yanks and are used to everyone here driving at least 5 mph over the limit.

I knew there had to be a reason no one was speeding, so we didn't either. There are also plenty of signs about the speed cameras.

If it were us, we would pay the fine. After all we are guests and I wouldn't want to be thought of in a poor light. I am sure the fine wouldn't be excessive. And, if you are like us, you will find yourself back in Oz/Nz many more times


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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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I saw the first speed camera on the highway from Sydney out to Katoomba. They are usually well marked ahead of time. (But don't count on it...)

When we were in Auckland, the government was proposing their wishy-washy new transporation policy. Included was a proposal to lower the cut-off from 10Km/h to 5Km/h for speed cameras. Like photo-radar in North America, it is blatantly nothing but a cash grab. (Besides, you can't really speed much on the back roads of NZ. They're pretty winding). And, to be fair, I actually saw a lot of NZ police with speeders pulled over - including a bus. So it's not just the cameras that keep people slow.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 11:37 PM
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In Australia there's a longstanding belief that you can count on a 10% margin of error. So I generally set the cruise control to say 118 km/hr on 110-limited roads, and despite all the cameras and radar traps I've passed I've yet to get a bill. I've been told, though, that this theory doesn't hold good on Victorian roads, and you apply it to 50/60 km/hr suburban roads at your peril. MD is right - when you consider the disproportionate fines levied for minor infractions it's about revenue first, road safety second.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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I would pay the fine....but only after I was extradited back to NZ.
Dick is offline  
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