So people can make an informed decision, some of the realities of life in Oz
PLOT THICKENS FOR DEFECTED INTERSTATE VEHICLE - Attn: Mark Bailey MP - Labor for Miller, Mark Ryan MP and Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, is this how we treat interstate tourists, or even our own motoring community?
On 28 Dec 2018 we posted about Chris, a NSW 4WDer on holidays in Queensland with his family, when we was pulled over after crossing the Noosa River via the Tewantin Ferry, driving his NSW registered (one month old / 3rd tank of fuel) Toyota Hilux SR5 up the Teewah Beach (Noosa North Shore) by members of Nambour Road Policing Command. Initially the police officer wanted to book Chris for not displaying his "P Plates", because he had a provisional motorcycle code on his license, which held no relevance as Chris had 14 years of open license and was qualified to drive "B" Doubles / Road Trains... this interaction was recorded by a Channel 7 news crew.
We've been advised that Chris was then redirected away from the "intercept zone" (and Channel 7 news crew) after the officer stated "lets go over there and talk further" (to that affect), and got Chris to drive his vehicle up the beach, and parked with his nose up towards the sand dunes (tail to the ocean). The vehicle is now parked on uneven terrain, which is confirmed in the screenshot from the officer's body cam; this is the point where Chris was told he was being defected as his tyres were too big.
Chris was issued with a "Drive/Park a Defective Vehicle" Traffic Infringement Notice which had NO TECHNICAL DETAILS ABOUT THE DEFECT ON IT, and when he contacted the Nambour Road Policing Unit later to re-confirm the exact infringement details, the booking officer again stated his tyres were oversize, at 7.2% diameter increase (NSW standard). As this was not written on the infringement notice, Chris asked him to get this in writing so he knew exactly what issue he needed to address as his vehilce is covered by NSW standards, however the officer stated it was "against QPS policy" to provide further details about the infringement notice, and would not provide any additional information in written form, for Chris to be able to follow up and defend the infringement. The booking officer re-iterated verbally that Chris's tyre increase was 7.2% diameter and was illegal by NSW standards.
We have since validated Chris's NSW registered vehicle's tyre and rim combination where not actually illegal under either the NSW or QLD standards, and therefore he should not have been defected at all while in Queensland. Chris followed up and sent the technical details / evidence to the Nambour Office In Charge of the Road Policing Unit and requested for the infringement to be dismissed, as his tyres were measured to be only 35mm increase in diameter from his factory tyres, being a total 4.291% increase in diameter under the NSW standard.
Chris received an email back from the Nambour Officer In Charge which stated:
=== Start QPS Email Quote ===
The intercept relating to your matter was recorded by Sgt. RICHARDS on his Body Worn Video Camera. I have reviewed this video and can confirm that the following occurred during this intercept.
• Sgt. RICHARDS stated to you that you had committed 2 offences
• The first offence being an illegal modification in regards to the size of the tyres
• The second offence being a defective vehicle in regards to the tyres protruding from the vehicle
• Sgt. RICHARDS states that he will just issue you the Defective Vehicle ticket
Although the intercept was originally in regards to your tyre sizes, your allegation that the ticket issued was originally about the tyre size is incorrect. The ticket issued was only ever in relation to the tyres protruding from the vehicle.
In regards to the your protruding tyres, I refer you to Section 4.4 Queensland Code Of Practice Vehicle Modifications - Version 4 - 2018 – Section 4.4 – Wheels and Tyres, which states that 'The wheels must be contained within the bodywork or mudguards'. Although the photographs you have provided allegedly show that your tyres are within the vehicle at the point directly above the tyre, the tyre must be contained within the vehicle all the way around to the bottom of the mudflaps or vehicle. As per the provided screenshot below from Sgt. RICHARDS video, your tyres are not contained within the mudguards. A closer look at the photos provided by yourself also verify the tyres are not contained within the entire bodywork of your vehicle. As a result of this review, I have made the decision that this ticket will not be suspended or waived.
=== End QPS Email Quote ===
SGT Richards issued Chris a defect on oversize tyres, however now this has been contested / confirmed incorrect for both NSW and QLD, he wasn't told the defect is for tyres protruding from the vehicle? But how can we validate what the initial defect was for, when it's not written on the Infringement Notice, and QPS has a policy to not provide further details to an infringed driver?
The Officer In Charge has stated that Chris's tyres protrude, quoting QCOP reference LS9, Section 4.4... No, stop right there!... This is a NSW vehicle, is does NOT need to conform to QLD modification standards, throw that book out the window.... surely QPS got the memo from @Mark Bailey M that interstate vehicle's aren't to be defected if they're legal in their own state (NSW), so QCOP should not be used as any type of reference for interstate vehicles.
However, let's investigate this anyway... The Officer In Charge has referenced QCOP LS9 Section 4.4 in regards to tyres needing to "remain inside bodywork and mudguards"... Considering LS9 (QCOP) or LS7 (NCOP) states this, these codes are for "High Lift Suspension" modifications, which Chris certainly doesn't have installed. However, if you want to confer further on QLD standards, then TMR "G19.11 - Vehicle Standards Instructions - Minor Modifications" (December 201
, states the modifications applicable to Chris's vehicle WOULD NOT need to be certified under QCOP LS9, further G19 states under section "General Conditions for Alternative Rims and Tyres" (Page 12):
• G19.11: "The rims and tyres must not protrude beyond the bodywork of the vehicle, including flares, when viewed from above with the wheels facing straight ahead. If the vehicle was originally constructed with a portion of the wheel protruding, the alternative wheels must not protrude further than the original ones".
Key words, "viewed from above". This is significantly different to "wheels must be contained within the bodywork or mudguards", just as the application of LS9 and G19 are significantly different from the Officer In Charge's perspective. Further, the Officer In Charge states "although the photographs you have provided allegedly show that your tyres are within the vehicle at the point directly above the tyre", should not be stated as "allegedly". Chris was defected by SGT Richards after he was directed onto uneven terrain (seen in his body cam), and Chris later provided follow up pictures on flat terrain, using spirit levels to prove the tyres were inside the wheel arch as "viewed from above". This infringement should never have been issued, should not have been re-confirmed by the Officer In Charge, and should be thrown out with immediate effect. This particular vehicle is fully legal using both NSW and QLD modification standards.
On 2 Jan, representatives of the major Queensland Motoring Community groups meet with QPS's Operations Commander of Road Policing Command and TMR representatives. @4WD Queensland Association raised the issue of Traffic Infringement Notices not having exact details of the infringement notated on the document. The overwhelming response from QPS representatives indicated the system was fine, as drivers have been explained why they have been issued an infringement notice and there shouldn't be any confusion, however this is a clear example of an interstate driver asking for validation, being denied, and the infringement seems be now be different once the initial issue was rebuked... THERE SHOULD BE NO AMBIGUATY when it comes to any legal proceedings, particularly traffic infringements, they need to have all the details notated and correct - they can't seen to be misintepreted or "fluid".
Mark Bailey MP - Labor for Miller provided assurances that interstate vehicles would not be defected if they were legal in their own home state, well it appears this is not the case, and there is significant concern about how QPS are issuing infringements without full disclosure of offences for the motorist to be able to follow up and seek legal advice.
The 4WD Queensland Association continues to be concerned with the vehicle modification issues and misalignments across state jurisdictions, and how they are interpreted and enforced by QPS, if they don't understand interstate legislation. We are also concerned there may be many more Traffic Infringement Notices which have been issued in error, but the recipients are not aware of their rights and their allowed standards, or bothered contesting the fraudulent tickets. This has a marked effect on our state tourism, with many people still cancelling trips and activities our clubs have planned for 2019.
This issue has nothing to do with road safety.