And now the Australia speeding ticket rolls in

Hertz Australia said if I had been tagged on candid camera I would hear in about 6 weeks. The state of Victoria is punctual about its draconian traffic regulations, a letter arriving just shy of 6 weeks.

So I got my first ever traffic ticket anywhere.

Colleagues warned me of Australia’s strict traffic laws, though said that typically within 10 km of the speed limit is not a problem. Well, it certainly is a problem. My 108 km/h in 100 km/h zone attracted a AUD 176 fine plus AUD 35 processing fee from Hertz. That is the lowest fine bracket (under 10 km in excess of the limit). I will consider myself lucky if I just have the one as browsing around the forums of exasperated travelers are people that got ticketed for each of four speed cameras on the Geelong-Melbourne expressway used by drivers heading to/from the Great Ocean Road. I was tired on my way back from the Great Ocean Road, in a hurry, and did not pay enough attention to staying right on 100 km/h.

There is nothing to complain about, Australia has chosen to strictly enforce laws in ways that many other countries do not, and from an outsider’s perspective it is frustrating to have low speed limits and even lower tolerance, even in vast expanses of empty road, but visitors need to play the game by the local rules.

I enjoyed my trip to Australia but with exchange rates and costs where they are, I already felt it was one of the worst-value places I have visited and will be in no rush to go back. If the costs can be alleviated some day, there is much more I would like to see. The amount of a minor traffic violation does not seem that out of line when a bland hamburger at most restaurants goes for $18 and up. Maybe as an American, Australia was just too similar to justify the cost premium, whereas I had less issue with the similarly exorbitant costs in Papua New Guinea since it is so different from my everyday experience.

Here’s hoping Victoria has no more interest in my address. And Tasmania. And Northern Territory. And Queensland. Makes me nervous to check my mail.

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram

Pingbacks

  • colleen

    Thanks for bringing this up. We had a similar situation(“automatic-ticket”) in Zurich. Several hundred dollars, in-city. It came long after we returned home, apparently directed our way by Hertz. We certainly were in the wrong, but would have been more cognizant of speed if we were aware of these systems.

  • Oliver

    Avis just notified me that a ticket from Germany was forthcoming. 15 EUR processing fee…. And whatever the Autobahn Polizei wants from me. Hope they are at least sending an evidence photo.

  • shane

    At least you don’t have to add on a tip and taxes for your $18 hamburger. If you followed the great ocean road all the way through to Warrnambool, kermonds have been making a great hamburger there since 1949 and they only cost $10.

  • harry

    It’s good it wasn’t a red light camera. That would set you back $352.00

  • One way to increase revenue is to increase tolerance of speeding and to increase rates too. All sorts of governments are broke. Recipients of traffic tickets have no lobby.

  • Tim

    You guys are so accepting. There is plenty to complain about. Was there an injured party? An accident? Even an almost accident? It’s “the law.” Big deal! No victim, no crime. What if there was a law against wearing a wristwatch? Would you pay a fine for that and say “there is nothing to complain about?”

    Don’t pay it! Don’t go back! They don’t deserve your tourist money! File a complaint with your credit card! Close your Hertz account and tell them why. You are being robbed! Do something about it!

  • dale m

    Tim raises an interesting point, by way of jurisdiction (and some other good questions).

  • I got a ticket on my last day in Australia when I was driving back to the airport.

  • @dale m – what I am seeing online is reports of people getting hassled at immigration if they return to Australia, including late payment penalties. I am not seeing any cases of them trying to enforce overseas, which is not surprising.

  • Carl

    I am glad you share my opinion of Australia. While nice enough i suppose, I really can’t think of a reason for anyone to go there, it is very expensive without the value, and there are just much better places to visit without flying to the bottom of the world.

  • aadvantagegeek

    Remembering the outcome of Bart vs. Australia, I would just pay the fine. It’s not worth the risk of “booting”.

  • @aadvantagegeek – as long as its a wingtip!

  • I would like to offer another option for you Rapid Travel Chai…

    The State of Victoria allows individuals that receive a first time ticket to send a letter with some information (clean driving record = $3 from my department of motor vehicles) and a summary of “events” for the ticket along with a letter of “acknowledgement” of the infraction and the State will place your ticket on hold, review it, and in 60-90 days I received an official notice that the fine has been reduced to $0 AUD and you have received an “Official Warning”.

    Check out the details here:
    http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10369

    Took me all of 5 minutes, and a Skype call or two to validate the process. Hertz even reversed the $35AUD fee upon request!

    Worth checking our and contact me with any questions on the process!

    Darin @ TheNextJourney

  • @Darin@TheNextJourney – this is awesome, many, many thanks! I will do this and be in touch with any questions, great that even Hertz reversed the fee!

  • No Problem!

    Glad to help! I just prefer to find a workable solution within the rules, rather than ignore it… Hope the process works out well for you! If anyone has any additional questions, I’ll do my best to assist!

    – D

  • john

    hah, yes these situations suck. I had an interesting one though this summer. 180km/h in a 120 in Spain…. 400 euro. Luckily for some reason Sixt does not play ball the the police in Spain and they did not charge my credit card (which I promptly called in as stolen)…. so sometimes you get lucky perhaps.

  • Pingback: Appealing an Australia speeding ticket - Rapid Travel Chai()