Tow Ball Infringement !

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 21:03
ThreadID: 9476 Views:2441 Replies:15 FollowUps:20
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Hey Guys,

Just posting this incase anyone didnt know (cause I sure as hell didnt) I was just booked for 76 hard earned ones for having my tow ball attached! This cop claimed "it hindered visibility to my number place." My faith in our current government / police force was already diminishing and this just sealed it. This was in Sydney, NSW by the way so if there are any members of the police force reading this now, I've got a solid one finger salute for you. Also if anyone needs a new job, I believe theres a 1 week course @ TAFE to become a certified law enforcement officer, seems like anyone can get in there these days, the questions are all multiple choice ofcourse :)
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Reply By: Member - Ross - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 21:15

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 21:15

Sorry cobber, but you're off the track a little. It's been an infringement of the traffic act, since button up boots, to obscure your number plate front or back.

Tow balls are an absolute no no if your plate is dead centre and just behind same.

Pay the freight and learn ... as has been said ... experience is a good school, but the fees are high.

Commerisations old mate .. but that's how it goes.

CheersFidei defensor

AnswerID: 41665

Reply By: PETER - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 21:29

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 21:29
thats right mate either learn or be taught - to be taught costs
AnswerID: 41667

Reply By: Dion - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 23:02

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 23:02
You're lucky your not in WA at the moment. Early this week a young lad, driving along minding his own business got fined 100 big ones for having a deoderiser hanging from his rear view mirror.
The constabulary claimed it was blocking the drivers view. To me that is the coppers view, they claim this. How do they prove it was blocking the drivers view just because it was there? The article also went on to say the coppers examined his car and low and behold, found it completley road worthy, no cause for yellow canary.
This is a complete waste of Police resources, instead of tracking down the real crims, but newsflash the copers say, crims drive cars - woopy doo!
This unfortunate incident is probably going to leave this lad with a pretty low opinion of the wallopers for a long time to come, come to think of it, sort of lowered my opinion of them.
This is just nothing more than revenue raising under the guise of safety.
I feel for the lad, and would actually like him to be able to contest this, as him being the regular driver of that vehicle should be able to counter claim the wallopers 'opinion' that the deoderiser was blocking his view.


AnswerID: 41673

Follow Up By: joc45 - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 23:13

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 23:13
A joke, isn't it? What about license stickers and parking permits stuck to the windscreen, not forgetting the "P" plates, "L" plates, etc stuck to the windscreen. Mind you, with nodding dogs on the dash, I'd have no sympathy.

St Christopher medals are ok hanging from the mirror tho'; they prevent accidents.
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Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 07:09

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 07:09
Minding his own business was he?

I suppose you were there with your undercover Today Tonite camera!

You'd have to be ableepto put a friggin freshmas tree off your mirror.

Does it smell better off the mirror? or better off the lighter knob?

In regards to the 'p' plates you may as well bitch about rego stickers ---they don't exactly hang in front of your face do they?

Get a f*ckin life

He was probably being a little smartass after being caught for speeding or something andbleepthe boys in blue off. He would'nt tell his mum because he's a mummy's boy!!!!Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
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Follow Up By: Big Trev - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:01

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:01
You will get booked in Victoria as well for anything hanging from the mirror, it is deemed to be blocking the drivers view.

As for P/L plates, the law in Vict. states that the plates must be on the front and rear of the vehicle, in the past this has meant on the "front" and the "rear", but Police are letting people get away with this if they are visible on the windows, but only if the are not obscuring the drivers vision. There is a template that is used to determine "drivers vision".

In NSW you will note that P/L plates are actually on the "front & rear" of the vehicles.

As for Rego stickers, most of the older forumites will remember when cars had vent windows on the front doors, well that is where the sticker was supposed to be, but with those windows gone from modern vehicles and with the advent of left mirrors on all cars the rules had to be changed to allow for this, in Vict, the suggested area in on the lower left of the windscreen, they don't like them up high as they are often obscured by window tint, I believe in NSW the labels are recommeded to be on the left rear window, I am not sure of this, so will stand corrected.
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Follow Up By: Russell [Pajero] - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 10:11

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 10:11
It was annouced last year that the SA Gov would be doing away with rego stickers altogether, not cost effective and SAPOL have access to database for uptodate car details if they want to check you out.

I still like people who "twist the dragons tale" the more time the POL "deal" with the towball and rear vision mirror hangers the less time they'll be looking at me.

So keep up the good work guys.

PS I don't have a short memory of my youth driving days and most of them remmber the lucky days, most of the young drivers I know and see on the road are generally behaving like real DH's so I'd like to see the Texas solution introduced here.

In 1988 when I was working in Texas the drivers had to be insured, every road inringement meant an increase in insurance premiums to the degree DH's couldn't afford or the INSCO wouldn't cover you and believe me get caught without a clean driers licence or insurance and its straight to jail.

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Follow Up By: joc45 - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 11:47

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 11:47
This also reminded me; the Nissan dealer supplied a nice deodorising Xmas tree after doing a service. Did the right thing, didn't hang it off the mirror, instead hung it off the 4wd gear lever. Only thing, it then left a permanent stain on my console. Short of using sandpaper, the stain is there to stay.
FollowupID: 304170

Follow Up By: Camper - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2004 at 20:01

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2004 at 20:01
When you see some turkeys with the kitchen sink and all the momentoes of their last party dangling from the rearview mirror it's a damn good thing they are illegal, but like driving using mobile phones and tailgating a bit more enforcement would be a good thing.
Driving over a tonne of metal on a publc road is a dangerous activity which demands full attention with no distractions at all.
Vehicles are for the transport of people not loungerooms.
FollowupID: 304566

Follow Up By: joc45 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2004 at 23:26

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2004 at 23:26
Where are police when you really want them? Today I witnessed a huge truck run a red light at speed, blasting his horn as he went thru.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 00:04

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 00:04
Also thought it was illegal to have the towbar tounge in if you werent towing???
AnswerID: 41678

Follow Up By: ThePublican - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 01:40

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 01:40
Tits only illegal IF it obscures the number plate,,Qld.........
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Follow Up By: Big Trev - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 07:52

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 07:52
only if obscures your number plate in Vict.
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Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 01:48

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 01:48
the trouble and strife narrowly escaped a fine (i suspect due to low cut top?lol)
beacause the bike rack was on with no bike while getting tea when she was at local bmx meet for my nephews, even to the point of also no proper plate attached and a demountable/removable hitch was in place whilst not in use,
was told for pedestrian safety????
what in reverse? if so what about jery loders and spare wheel mounts?

So do i conclude that if she hit a pedestrian they would survive the first hit of the bumper then fly in the air over my high top canopy then be killed or maimed my a non used bike rack?

just bracks coffer collectors at work.

hmm me thinks bracks wont be here soon?
although he denies this
2 awestruck kids (dads driving!)
AnswerID: 41688

Follow Up By: Rowdy - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 21:01

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 21:01
The trouble with bike racks is that kids walk/run around parked vehicles and as most kids look down when running around dont see these protrusions and smack into them face first. Very expensive visit to the dentist follows, just ask my 11 year old.
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Reply By: Brian - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:20

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:20
You were driving down the road, minding your own business, not breaking ANY road laws and the boys-in-blue singled you out for having a tow ball on????
AnswerID: 41697

Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:14

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:14
Yep, thats exactly it, actually he was sitting on the side of the road monitoring speed and left his post to do that. The funny thing is though I bought the car like that and it dosent even really "obscure" the plate. He was just a tosser.
FollowupID: 304947

Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:29

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:29
Not going either way on this, but there was a recent story that made the local news of an old pensioner, who was pulled over by police following him and busted for the tow ball obscuring the number plate, that was all!!

By the same token, it IS illegal to cover your numberplate!!
AnswerID: 41701

Reply By: Member - Peter- Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:40

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 08:40
Friend of mine was booked by hwy patrol in a old Pathfinder with the factory rear rack carrying the tyre and a jerrycan for obscuring the number plate on the rear.
He pointed out to the copper that
a) it had been there like that for over 14 years!
b) nissan had obviously had ADR approval for the vehicle as it was registered originally
c) He hadn't changed anything, Nissan jerry can, original size spare and wheel etc.
copper booked him and he was forced to take it to court with a copy of Nissan's original ADR compliance, photo's of other Pathy's etc.
Magistrate threw the case out as the copper hadn't even fronted at court!
Awarded him costs which were substantial as it was in Tamworth, he lived in Sydney so included travel and accomodation for a few days, plus loss of wages etc etc.
A win for the little man!
And as others have said we all get a lower opinion of the cops.
AnswerID: 41703

Reply By: Member - Bob - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 10:45

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 10:45
Yes the tow ball may have been obscuring the number plate - but when was the last time an obscured numberplate caused a fatality? The number plate has to be visible to speed cameras which are for revenue collection.
Apparently half our road fatalities occur in the bush. Of the half occurring in the cities most would occur at intersections. Of the rest, some are due to pedestrian error, and some are due to crazies driving at 140kph at 2.00 am with a skinful.
I would like to see a careful analysis of what causes crashes, and police activity directed toward accident prevention. It should also be remembered that inappropriate police harrassment of ordinary drivers is likely to be counterproductive (in terms of road safety if not government revenue). Tired cliches like "speed kills", while having an element of truth (if your speed was 5 kph there would be no fatalities!), are an oversimplification of a complex phenomenon. Car accidents should be investigated and reported so that we can all learn from the other persons mistake.
AnswerID: 41711

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 21:40

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 21:40

Firstly let me say I'm not particularly a fan of the traffic branch .. never have been. However I do have an abiding respect for the job the boy's in blue have to do.

There are a couple of factors we need to consider here and I guess that goes for most of the above responses.

1. The law in question has been in place for much much longer than speed cameras have been around.

2. Let's take a hypothetical scenario where you are walking down the footpath and you unfortunately witness a hid and run episode. Being on the ball you note down on the palm of your hand the vehicle details, but the number plate is obscured so you can't get the crucial bit of evidence.

Imagine how easier it would be for the police to nab the mongrel if it was visible. Only one example, but I'm sure you get my drift.

I have no doubt it has more to do with vehicle identification than it has to do with fund raising ... just a thought.

CheersFidei defensor

FollowupID: 304205

Reply By: Member - Ken - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 11:05

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 11:05
If these type of Laws and the enforcement of same pisses you all off so much, then do something about it instead of whingeing, moaning, groaning and/or getting your 'rocks' off on the forum.


Stop VOTING for thebleeps that make the so called laws in the first place.

Yep! thats right, have a real good think about who you have voted for in the past and the subsequent bleep they have brought down upon your collective heads.

Have a nice new year and remember its an election year.


Ken Robinson

AnswerID: 41716

Follow Up By: macca - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 15:32

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 15:32
I would like to think your simplistic view of voting for another party would stop the stupid crap the people WE vote in carry on with. But be realistic,nothing changes when parties change..If there is a money spinner it will stay there.. They are ALL tarrred with the one brush and it starts down at council level where they all learn to put the snouts in the trough and rip the bloody system off for there own gain.. You and I nor none of the bleeping people on here will ever and I mean ever are going to change that short of a revolution !!!!
Getting off my soap box now.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog Morgan (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 22:24
yep and a revolution wont change the situation either. It's human nature to be greedy and look after yourself, starts right from the cradle. You can beat them so join them or learn to live with it.I may be mad but I'm not crazy
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Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:21

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:21

I really dont have much to say to a person like you. Considering Ive worked my a$$ off to buy my brand new Jeep Wrangler as a recreational / recovery vehicle for my other 4B and also considering I'm 21 years old. Just a quick though to you and the boys in blue, I dont mind obeying rules but next time they decide to make one up, how bought letting the common person in on it eh? Also the tow ball does not as far as I'm concerned "obscure" the plate. And another is that as far as I can gather that so called law was about B4 my time to vote so I can only assume that it was a left wing labour supporter such as yourself that probably contributed to this law coming about in the first place. Ohh.. and I wasnt bitching or moaning. Last time I checked this was a Forum, a place where your voice your opinion, not make lame statements.. lets hope thats sunk in.
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Reply By: Blackie - Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 12:45

Sunday, Jan 04, 2004 at 12:45
I received a spam email flogging a spray on substance that is designed to reflect the flash of a speed camera making your number plate unreadable to the camera. I presume this substance would be invisable under normal conditions. At a guess its illegal already.
AnswerID: 41720

Follow Up By: Big Trev - Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 09:59

Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 09:59
Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper) to drive legally.
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Follow Up By: Blackie - Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 14:30

Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 14:30
Trev I agree, my point was that if such a product worked and was to be widely used then towballs obscuring number plates would be the least of their problems.
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Reply By: harry5 - Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 11:25

Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 11:25
Hey Folks
I am aware of the tow ball hidden plate bit but I am not sure what the rule is on fishing rod holders mounted on the bull bar (rocket launches) can someone give me the guts on them
AnswerID: 41801

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 15:13

Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 15:13

A no no also, unless they're rotated around behind the bar.
In essence it's illegal to have anything protruding forward of the vehicle, which makes a lot of sense with regard to pedestrians ... particularly if it's a low speed accident it which case they'd most likely just be bopped on their arse, rather than run the risk of leaving bits behind. Fidei defensor

FollowupID: 304271

Reply By: Rick Blaine - Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 17:53

Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 17:53
hey... in the ACT you can be fined heavily for having a stone chip on your windscreen in the area swept by your wipers and as I discovered to my great expense only a small chip around 3mm dia will do it
AnswerID: 41845

Reply By: kiwi2 - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 13:41

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 13:41
What's with this mindless police-bashing? Does anybody really think that driving around with stuff hanging from their mirror contributes to visibility and safety? Or that an obscured number plate is OK (why bother with plates at all?)? Or that a pedestrian is gonna be OK if they're first point of contact is the sharp end of a row of metal tubes? Or that speeding in off-road vehicles is some kind of sport that the party-pooper authorities should leave alone?
Some of you guys might think a little harder if one of your family is next to become a statistic, but is that what it takes to accept a bit of responsibility?.
AnswerID: 41946

Follow Up By: Jay - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:28

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 03:28
Nice spiel about pedestrians.. but hey, I pay rego and I also pay taxes, so heres a little something for these "pedestrians" something my old lady laid on me @ very young age... " look left, right, then left again " and if you really wanna push the envelope a little bit listening along with that wouldnt go astray. Is it really that hard ?
FollowupID: 304949

Follow Up By: Brian - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:21

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:21
eerrrrrr..... isn't it "Look RIGHT, then LEFT, the RIGHT again???
Careful Jay, looking the wrong way could make you a statistic... LOL
Only kidding mate
FollowupID: 304955

Reply By: Member - Ken - Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 23:49

Sunday, Jan 11, 2004 at 23:49
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh-ah! Jay.

Isn't education a wonderful thing mate.

Pity you never had one as you would then know how a democracy operates and how the 'laws' are put in place.

I will reiterate again for you - the only way to do anything about this situation is to vote the cootas out on their collective ears, or frighten the pants off of them so that they think they will be voted out if they don't pull their heads in. That by the way has just happened in Victoria on a number of issues.

Also if you had read my thread carefully, you would have seen that I was bleeped in my description of the galahs who make our laws. It doesn't really tell you how I vote, however I do lean to the right of 'Attila the Hun' if that helps you sleep at night.

Whilst this debate continues to go on in this forum, guess what, the police are out there booking peolple for towball infringements, whatevers hanging off the rear vision mirrors, doing 64 in a 60 zone, having a tyre peeping outside a guard, having mudflaps undersized etc etc etc.

So all in all its a waste of time, effort and keystrokes because there is only one thing that will change it and you know what that is.


Ken Robinson

AnswerID: 42630

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