Australia is a hot, dry land known for its wide open spaces and crushing speed enforcement. None know this better than a 23-year-old Sydney man, who was caught recently by police having racked up the equivalent of over $10,000 in fines in just 11 short minutes, reports Car Advice.
The driver was behind the wheel of a Subaru BRZ, known for its excellent handling more than its outright straight-line speed. Unfortunately for him, the driver was spotted driving rather exuberantly by a police helicopter, which was reportedly conducting a routine patrol over Western Sydney at the time. The high-speed antics were recorded by the helicopter’s onboard thermal camera, with the air unit following the vehicle until Highway Patrol officers could apprehend the driver on the ground.
After pulling over the driver, police took down the man’s details, noting he was on a provisional license at the time. After sending the driver on his way, police combed the video footage to determine multiple independent speeding infractions. In a Facebook post, NSW Police stated that “Highway Patrol officers reviewed the PolAir (helicopter) recording and were able to ascertain the driver of the Subaru BRZ exceeded the speed by not more than 10 km/h once, more than 10 km/h once, more than 20 km/h six times, more than 30 km/h twice, and more than 45 km/h twice.”
Stacked up together, New South Wales Police stated that “this would equate to $10,252 in monetary fines and a total of 50 demerit points in only 11 minutes of driving.” It’s common for Australian police to talk about stacking up fines in this manner, though it’s rare for them to be issued as such. In this case, the driver has actually been charged with “drive in a speed/manner dangerous to the public” and will face court on the 27th of July.
The maximum potential fine for the stated offense is much lower, at just $2,200. However, the penalty can also include imprisonment for up to 9 months—a sobering thought for the young man ahead of next month’s trial. There’s also a minimum disqualification period of 1 year for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenses ramp up the penalties further, with a maximum fine of $3300 and potential jail time up to a full 12 months. The minimum disqualification period also doubles, and can extend out to a total of 5 years.
Australian police don’t take speeding lightly, with messaging ever present that speed cameras are always lurking just around the corner. Enforcement is typically severe, with heavy fines, license suspensions, and even car seizures common. Hopefully, for his own sake, this driver has a good lawyer to face the courts next month. He’ll probably be looking over his shoulder for helicopters for quite some time to come.
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