A long-held suspicion of police revenue-raising by much of the public has been brought to the limelight, as it was revealed that South Australian Police (SAPOL) were encouraging an increase in speeding tickets.
It was recently brought to light that a ‘manager’ within SAPOL sent an email out to staff offering an incentive to the SA police officer who made the “greatest contribution to road safety by way of Traffic Infringement Notice Expiations or Cautions”.
Essentially, the manager in question had purchased gift cards and was offering these up to whichever SA Police officer was able to make the “greatest contribution to road safety by way of Traffic Infringement Notice Expiations or Cautions” through the number of traffic infringement notices and cautions issued.
SAPOL was quick to retract the email and release a statement advising the following. “SAPOL has no quotas for the issuing of expiation notices and never has. The practise of offering incentives is not supported or condoned. Police officers dealing with breaches of the road rules have the discretion to determine the most appropriate action under the circumstances. This may include the issue of an expiation notice or a formal caution (warning)”.
The statement went on to further detail that “The email instruction has been recalled and SAPOL staff have been advised that the advice in the email is not to be actioned and is contrary to SAPOL’s policy and practices. The matter is subject to a formal review”. You can find the full statement from SAPOL here.
The operation within which this incentive was offered aims to focus on distracted drivers by way of “Operation Fatal Distraction”. We have, however, received information from both South Australian residents and those visiting South Australia that you can, and will be fined for any speeding offences, with SAPOL fining motorists for being as little as 5 kilometres per hour over the limit in a 110km/h zone. We’re not entirely sure, but that certainly looks like Police revenue raising to us. Especially on those from interstate, who it would cost substantially more to return to SA to have the matter heard in court; it is simply easier to pay the fine, whether you agree or not.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve had a run-in with the South Australian Police for minimal offences that would typically receive a caution for, or that borders on the margin of error for their detecting equipment.