Road­work fines to be re­paid: cops

Albany Extra - - News - Tim Ed­munds

Po­lice will re­fund speed­ing fines to al­most 40 driv­ers fol­low­ing a re­view into traf­fic in­fringe­ments is­sued on a stretch of Al­bany High­way dur­ing a dou­ble de­merit pe­riod prompted by an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into po­lice mis­con­duct.

Six speed­ing fines were is­sued to driv­ers on a sec­tion of road­works near Ko­jonup dur­ing the Queen’s Birth­day long week­end in Septem­ber, the same week­end a speed cam­era op­er­a­tor was cau­tioned by po­lice for trav­el­ling at 31km/h over the speed limit.

The In­ter­nal Af­fairs Unit cleared two po­lice of­fi­cers of mis­con­duct in March af­ter a three­month in­ves­ti­ga­tion prompted by the Al­bany Ad­vertiser.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found the of­fi­cers ap­pro­pri­ately ex­er­cised dis­cre­tion to is­sue the cau­tion be­cause of Main Roads’ fail­ure to sign­post cor­rectly the re­duced speed limit of 80km/h af­ter the driver claimed he was con­fused by the signs.

Main Roads claimed the signs were in­stalled cor­rectly but con­ceded it was pos­si­ble some signs could have been in­ter­fered with, re­sult­ing in con­fu­sion.

The speed cam­era op­er­a­tor, a WA Po­lice staff mem­ber, was clocked at 111km/h in the 80km/h zone, which would have re­sulted in a loss of li­cence and $800 fine in a dou­ble-de­merit pe­riod. Dur­ing the in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Chris Daw­son said other in­fringe­ments is­sued in the same pe­riod on the same stretch of road would also be ex­am­ined.

Yes­ter­day po­lice re­vealed they would with­draw the in­fringe­ments is­sued to six driv­ers caught on the long week­end in the road works sec­tion and 32 other driv­ers from Au­gust 31 to the end of 2017.

How­ever, it is un­known if the six in­fringe­ments on the long week­end were is­sued by the same of­fi­cers who were in­ves­ti­gated or the to­tal cost of fines to be re­funded.

As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner for Re­gional WA Mur­ray Smal­page said yes­ter­day po­lice would con­tact the af­fected driv­ers in writ­ing to rec­tify the case.

“In the spirit of fair­ness, th­ese in­fringe­ments will be with­drawn and any fines al­ready paid will be re­funded,” he said. “I have also in­structed that any de­merit points will be cleared from driv­ers’ li­cences as soon as pos­si­ble.”

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