SHOWN NO MERCY

Caravan World - - Postbag - Hedi Holtkamp, via email

An­other bu­reau­cracy, or just no mercy for tourists to Aus­tralia?

Have you ever been caught speed­ing? Well, I didn't. In fact, I did not re­ceive any tick­ets for any traf­fic of­fence in my 50 years of driv­ing in Ger­many and here in Aus­tralia — apart from a $150 fine for park­ing our camper­van on an empty coun­cil carpark in Ger­ald­ton in 2015, where a worker told us we could park while shop­ping across the street.

Fine, yes: Fined $150 … It hurt. I didn't con­test. Ger­ald­ton is not in my good books.

Now I've got an­other traf­fic ex­pi­a­tion no­tice. My son, vis­it­ing from Ger­many, was re­cently caught do­ing 90km/h in an 80km/h zone. He was driv­ing near Vic­tor Har­bor, South Aus­tralia, was lost and as he couldn't re­call what speed limit zone he was driv­ing in, let the ve­hi­cle roll down­hill near a creek, look­ing for his way. There was no other traf­fic. But he was caught.

My son, who is a writer, is a very good and care­ful driver, and very fa­mil­iar with left-hand driv­ing.

He says in Ger­many there are far more speed signs so you know what is go­ing on.

I had given him my camper­van for ex­plor­ing a bit of our beau­ti­ful coun­try be­fore I had my hip op­er­a­tion. My son had to stay with me, look­ing af­ter me — the rea­son he came to visit, all on my ex­pense.

I got off the hook, as I proved that I wasn't the driver.

A new traf­fic ex­pi­a­tion no­tice was sent to my son, at my ad­dress. This fine is now in­cluded in the ex­penses, out of my mod­est pen­sion. I paid the $439, which is a lot.

No mercy — only bu­reau­cracy. It would have been nice just to drop the fine and give a warn­ing to a tourist from an­other coun­try.

Is there a rule about how of­ten speed limit signs should be posted?

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