My name is Bruce Devereaux and this is my story.
You might recall me posting the above photo on my social media a few months ago.
The shock of having a speeding ticket is not one I’ve been completely unexposed to in my life, but this one was a doozy. Worse still was the extreme level of fear & anxiety I experienced at having to show that humongous fine to my wife.
Life was playing a little rough with me, so I did what I always do and told Facebook about it.
Most people on my BFLI page were really very supportive about it, even if some told me in no uncertain terms I deserved my ticket for being such a hoon. This is something I would normally agree with, since the ticket says I was 35kms/hr over the speed limit, but to be fair to myself I was only doing 55km/hr on a main road where there were no roadworks and other cars around me were doing that or slightly more.
But one of you lovely people went above and beyond in offering support.
A message popped onto my screen.
Have you paid it yet? Don’t pay it yet. I think I can help.
I had no intention of paying it in the immediate future. Along with a budget-busting fine the ticket came with a big lap-blocking automatic loss of license in NSW. My plan was get the hell out of dodge and drive back to our Queensland home before grudgingly sending through my money.
But as luck would have it, only days before I was forwarded the ticket we’d met up with a lovely little family in Sydney, where Tracey took their photos. It’s been a genuine pleasure travelling for the last 18 months and meeting readers and their families. The number of times we’ve walked away from a photography session saying if we lived in this particular area we’d hang with those people is staggeringly out of step with the number of times you do that sort of thing in normal day-to-day life. As almost all the people Tracey photographed were people who follow our blog, I take that as a sign we’ve attracted the right sort of nutters over the years.
This particular lady had a particular skillset which would prove to be particularly useful in the particular situation I found myself in.
Sarah Carr is, you see, a barrister.
Not a barista, which I’ve found great use & affection for over the years, but rather a solicitor of, shall we say, superior standing. She even has a wig.
Sarah thought I had a case to make for leniency.
I was speeding though, I wrote her back. My own fault.
Sarah assured me she wasn’t going to stand in front of a judge and lie for me. Instead she proposed laying out the circumstances and seeing if maybe we could see a reduction in the fine or points.
You might, like me, think there’s no excuse for thundering around Sydney 35km/hour above the limit, but having read my account of the incident Sarah thought it was worth putting to the court.
I’ll tell him you’ve been stuck in a bus for eighteen months with your wife & five kids, she wrote, and that you’ve surely suffered enough.
I can say stuff like that in court? I asked.
I can. You can’t.
So our defence is, I asked, because she seemed to agree the ticket was legit, ‘it’s the vibe of the thing’?
I don’t think it was a coincidence at this point she mentioned I didn’t have to show up to the courthouse with her on the day. Handy, since I’d be 1089km away.
The risk of going to court, Sarah explained, was the potential for the judge to increase the fine and take my license off me Australia-wide instead of just NSW. But while she’d been typing all this into messenger my mind had been off on it’s own adventures.
Let’s do it, I messaged her back eagerly. I feel like Darryl Kerrigan. We’ll fight this all the way to the High Court!
Ahh, no. They don’t handle speeding tickets.
There’s probably just never been a case worthy of their consideration before. Should we form picket lines?
She reminded me I’d only just typed: ‘I was speeding though. My own fault.’
Lawyers and their pesky facts.
Still, I liked the rocky road solidness of it.
And now, after months of waiting and despite what I will assume is Sarah’s great regret at having ever messaged me about this in the first place, I’ve finally had my day in court.
Along with my certificate showing I’d completed a road safety course at our local Roadcraft (recommend this to everyone), Sarah explained the why and the how and the oh-dear of my situation which basically followed what I’d written in a letter she also submitted, an excerpt of which I’ve printed below. Her presentation was, I’m sure, more amusing than my dry rendition below:
Yawn-festly accurate and, let’s face it, not my usual style.
I waited anxiously by my phone all day until finally a message popped onto my screen.
YES! I typed back before jumping wildly about the balcony and hugging the nearest child.
Then I settled back down and messaged Sarah again as something about Section 10’s occurred to me.
Dismissed. No fine, no suspension
Just like Darryl.
Only in much lower court.
But other than that, exactly like in The Castle.
Pinch me, I think I’m dreamin’.
Barrister: Sarah Carr
Moral Support: Sarah Carr
Witty Repertoire: Sarah Carr
Wearer Of The Wig: Sarah Carr
Blog Follower Extraordinaire: Sarah Carr
Soon to be recipient of first Xmas card I’ve sent in…ever: Sarah Carr
Raising a family on little more than laughs
This post is not sponsored