Monday, March 24, 2014

Open Blogpost: Matter of Incorrect Traffic Record

(Photos: Georgie Abbott, Boca del Rio near Veracruz, Mexico)


Mr Greg Smith, MP
Attorney General & Minister for Justice
Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY NSW 200

Dear Mr Smith,

I am writing to you because I am most disturbed about the ‘administrative’ way my recent bicycle helmet cases were handled, and because given your position as Attorney General of NSW and the Minister for Justice, you seem to be the most appropriate person for me to turn to.

Notwithstanding that I was representing myself in the Local Court last September 2013, I was somewhat bizarrely taken by the Police Prosecutor to see the Duty Solicitor, who asked me about matters pertaining to somebody else’s apprehended violence orders which had been incorrectly attached to the police brief against me.

I am sure you can imagine my absolute horror at being asked about such a serious matter that had nothing to do with me, and then having to deny that it was actually anything to do with me all the while wondering if I was being believed or not.

Not a good start, I can assure you.

The next potentially prejudicial issue that raised its ugly head whilst I was in the Local Court was the matter of my Traffic Record Report which was incorrect.

Inexplicably it noted that I had been booked (in September 2009) for riding a ‘motorbike’ ... yes, a 'motorbike' ... alone and without a helmet and that the matter had then gone to the District Court in March 2010 where it was noted on my Traffic Record Report that I had been given a section 10 for the aforementioned crime of riding a motor bike alone without a helmet.

I would like you to know that I have never been the driver or rider of a 'motor-bike' with or without a helmet, 'alone' or in company. I have never learnt to drive or ride one, nor have I ever possessed a motor-bike licence nor for that matter a motor-bike itself. The recording of such an offence on my Traffic Record Report was an egregious error and completely untrue.

As I am sure you can appreciate, details like these are important as they have a bearing on people’s reputations particularly at the sentencing stage of defended hearings. Furthermore as I know I do not need to tell you, riding a motor-bike without a helmet is a matter that will be recorded on one’s traffic record whereas riding a bicycle without a helmet is a matter that will not.

My question to you is the same one I asked the District Court earlier this month; was my Traffic Record Report deliberately altered to make it appear substantially 'naughtier' than it was so that my earlier court matters that ought not to have appeared on my Traffic Record Report would get an airing one way or another on it after all?

I am gravely concerned about the prejudice these errors potentially contributed to my matters both in the Local Court (September 2013) and the District Court (March 2014) where my Traffic Record Report was looked at by both the magistrate and judge in their respective courts.

Which government-funded body got it so wrong? Was this administrative ‘stuff-up’ a police error or a Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) one?

From a personal interest perspective I am very keen to learn which government department will (a) remove the traffic record listing of the traffic matter that never happened and (b) remove the court cases that ought not to appear given that the traffic matter they are listed for did not happen and that the bicycle helmet matter they are actually representative of would never have been listed on a Traffic Record Report?

I certainly am looking forward to hearing from you soon and having my Traffic Record Report restored to its former state before it was polluted with incorrect data, so thank you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Abbott
(Freedom Cyclist)

(also published on Scone Blog, and sent via email to office@smith.minister.nsw.gov.au)

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