Q&A - The Officer Didn't See the Offence

Q&A ImageI am curious how is it that it is possible for an officer to issue a ticket without actually witnessing the alleged offense, and only going by a couple of witness calls that likely do not have the plate number of the alleged offender and in a location that is not specific?



I would be curious to know that too! Without a plate, identification of the driver or something unique about the vehicle to direct the officer's investigation I don't know how they would find you. As for the location, it does not have to be that specific as the ticket information says "at or near," states a highway name and the name of the place where the offence was supposed to have taken place.

When I investigated a driving complaint the report from the public had to contain details that would either allow me to reliably identify the driver or the vehicle. Normally it was a license plate number that identified the vehicle. The complainant would supply a statement of what they had witnessed and agreed to attend traffic court as a witness.

I would next identify the registered owner through the license plate number. That done I would go to the owner and advise them of the complaint and require that they tell me who was driving at the time. They are required by the Motor Vehicle Act to do this, even if they were the driver.

The next step was to speak with the driver. I would advise them of the complaint details, tell them that they need not say anything and if they chose to, I would use it as evidence in court. Then I would listen to what they had to say, if they chose to say anything.

It was now up to me to consider all the circumstances, and if I thought that I could successfully prosecute the ticket, I would issue it. I cannot recall ever losing a trial in these circumstances as the driving behaviour reported was usually significantly out of the ordinary.

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